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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Journalists and  
   policy-makers take viewer questions; newspaper articles.  

    September 17, 2010
    7:00 - 10:00am EDT  

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the former head of the federal pipeline safety administration, brigham mccown is our guest. he'll discuss last week's gas pipeline explosion in northern california. this is "washington journal." [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] host: good morning. it's friday, the 17 of september, 2010. on this date in 1787, 39 of the 55 delegates who taken% attended the delegation, signed the constitution. we're document, and engaging in
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a discussion. here are the phone numbers. if you are a democrat, join us. rep conditions, join us, and independents, join us. good morning once again, this is the kind of discussion i can promise you would only happen on c-span. 34 years ago we used to call us the place where the constitution came to live every day, because it gave you a running example of the three branches of government and the live coverage of the congress, executive branch and what we told you about the supreme court so we couldn't let constitution day go by without a discussion. seems like we're hearing more and more about it these days, and on the front page of the washington times in a story about constitution day, david eisner who runs the national constitution center in philadelphia explains why. here is the story. he writes -- the tea party has got people thinking more seriously about what's in the constitution and what's not.
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that's the quote from the political analyst with american enterprise institute but they say it would be wrong to assume tea party movement was -- >> supreme court's role in helping decide the outcome between george bush and al gore. quote from mr. eisner, so much of what we're seeing whether it's health care or national security or campaign finance really boils down to constitutional issues. so we're going to talk to you. and you might not have thought about it before. maybe you've thought about it deeply. but there are two prevailing
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beliefs about the constitution. whether you should follow it as intended or follow the changing as times change. the clips are about 1 1/2 minutes long but it's important to understand the centralty of the arguments in each cases we're going to start with jauts antonin ask alya with his belief of the constitution and follow up with justice brire. >> let's talk about a specific here to see how your philosophies actually work. the court divided four years ago when it ruled that the death penalty for julse is unconstitutional. this is people who commit crimes before the age of 18. why do you think it was wrong for the the court conclude that practice violated the ban of cruel and unusual punishment. >> because i think what the ban meant in 1791 when it was adopted it means today, and for
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example, why not say the death penalty is unconstitutional as applied to everybody? not just people under 18? what stops you from say that? and indeed i sat with four colleagues that said that. and that would just be applying your own sense of what the law ought to be rather than what the law is. what stops you from saying that is in 1791 when the eighth amendment was adopted, the death penalty was the only penalty for a felony. there's no argument possible that it was unconstitutional. >> which would be of general interest and it will involve a phrase in the constitution cruel and unusual punishment which does totally explain itself. nor does the definition, deprivation of liberty.
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liberty. the word liberty. or even the freedom of speech. they don't explain exactly where they belong. now he and i will also agree let's go back and see what was intended? what was intended? what i see is not particular conditions of the time. maybe they thought that flogging was fine. they used to flog people on ships. i don't know the exact details of what everybody in the 18th century thought was cruel and unusual. but they didn't enact that. they enacted into law, cruel and unusual punishment. instead of values, -- not a specific set of 18th century -- so for me the question would be how do those values that they enacted then apply to our circumstances today? now i think most people, i don't think everybody. but i think you can get a pretty broad consensus that you
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should not execute people for robbery or theft or all felonies. nor i do think everybody today would say it's fine to execute a 13-year-old. so when we look around the world and around the united states and read, there's hardly anybody that executes a exiled, a child, even when over 12. the question is where do ewith draw the line today, not in the 18th century. host: that's two justices a debate in 2009, responsered by the supreme court historical society and moderated bipete williams, the longtime reporter from cnbc. >> sorry about the length of those, but it's important to understand the debate over the living document versus the original intent and with that background we wanted to engage you in a discussion about which view you avibe scribe to and
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when you call in, when was the last time you actually read the constitution. so this constitution day, 2010, we're going to begin with a call on the republican line from pennsylvania. bill, good morning. caller: good morning and thanks for taking my call. i love c-span. the last time i read the constitution, ron paul sent me a copy of the constitution, and i also have a copy of the constitution that i kept from when i was in school. because the constitution is the basis for not only our form of government. it's the basis for the united states of america. i love to u.s. constitution. and any patriot or any good citizen of the country will try to uphold it. what you just saw these two clips, i thought they were excellent, because they do draw out the fact that there are two distinct ways of looking at this. i am a republican. i believe the constitution has
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explicit delineated powers, and what i've seen happen in this country is what's known as legislating from the bench. if you want to interpret the constitution liberally, you can continue to change whatever laws. that was a good example that you citeed. because in that time period, it was clear that capital punishment was legal. it was the way they carried things out. and they -- it was clearly not a cruel and unusual punishment. today, if the states want to decide, hey, that's cruel and unusual punishment, we don't want that going on in our states, we have the right. but certainly the u.s. federal government can't take that and try to say that that's a cruel and unusual punishment. host: bill, thank you. i'm going to try to move people along even though these are big topics. bill talked about reading and keeping a copy of the constitution. it's widely available on the
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internet. of course, if you don't have your own copy and to make it simple at c-span.org homepage we've got a constitution area with a link to the constitution that you are welcome to click on and if you haven't had a chance to read it lately and are interested in this discussion, that's a good way to describe it. ziffelya on our democratic line, welcome. caller: thank you for c-span. aim calling because i'm a democrat. naturally ibblet in the living document. as you get older, you change. and the same thing is happening with this living document. your thoughts become different. the way you thought as a child, you do not think as an adult. that way. so i consider it to be a living document. i agree with justice brire, as
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things change, you need change. and that means that you don't kill somebody because they robbed a bank. you don't kill somebody, because they, un, they stole a bike. or something like that. that's cruel and unusual punishment. now if they keep it up, or if they happen to kill someone in the process of this robbery, we may think about what are the circumstances up under which they robbed the bank? i consider it to be a living document. host: thank you, ziffelya. from wick media, just more about the signers of the united states constitution, 39 of the 55 delegates who attended the constitutional convention signed the united statesal constitution and in addition to the 39, the constitution's
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secretary william jackson also sign not as a delegate but, several notable politicians including thomas jefferson and john adams did not sign i want. the youngest signer, johnathan dayton, benjamin franklin the oldest at 8 is. john, independent, good morning. caller: good morning. i read the constitution almost every day because i have it on my iphone and when somebody makes a statement about something, i look in there and say is that power specifically enpneumonia rated in the constitution? usually it isn't. i think it's a living document to the degree that the evolution had clearly specified rules, d.n.a. if you would built into it with amendments and things like that. justice brire made the good
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that they chose to make value statements as opposeded to punishable statements but the living document isn't living beyond what is in it and the powers are specifically enumerated and the powers the federal government is taking on over the years over the then guys over a thin phrase over the preamble really aren't powers of the government, and it's not a living document other than the specifics of what's in it. host: thank you, next a republican, jeremy from nashville. you're on. caller: amen to the last caller. a living document. ok. how can you ascribe any kind of animation to a document? that's ridiculous. the founding fathers were wise in that they put into the constitution the ability to amend it.
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ok? if times change, and they anticipated that times would change, you could amend the constitution, and you could do it by a specific and certified process. the problem we have today is that particularly in the democrat party they are trying to go around and bypass, you know, jump over or go under the constitution. the constitution is not a living anything. it is merely a document. but it is an important document, the most historic document in all of human history, because it actually allows a free people to change their form of government by a legal, civil procedure. ok? it's not a living anything. it's a document. host: jeremy, thank you, very much. helen tweetsbrire asked us to believe reason is relative. ask alya knows reason in viewed
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is fixed in morality and ethics. some of the famous names of those who signed. george washington of virginia vargas, james madison, the pink anies of south carolina. charles cokes worth and challs, king of massachusetts, zander hamilton of new york. benjamin franklin and thomas, robert morris of pennsylvania. morris of pennsylvania. and william patterson of new jersey. some of the names we still remember in history of signing the constitution. next telephone call fro charlotte, north carolina. good morning on this constitution day as we ask you whether or not you believe in original meaning or the living document. ivan, democrat's line. caller: let's take the original intent and work with that. because that is where the disagreement is. the reason why there's even a debate is because what is the founding philosophy that governs the constitution is the
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acquisition of property. the central focus of the constitution is a concern over properties. what makes this such -- what makes or gives this the character of a living document or original intent is the idea of slave enrichment slavery has 10 pro vigs and the most engrossed element of the constitution. they were concerned about establishing and saying you had a -- working body, so they were concerned that you made sure you separated the races. and so their intent was to make sure that sense of property remained consistent within the document. so when you look at the constitution, you have to concern yourself about the original intent was to preserve property. now, when you talk about the how it evolved over the years. the only reason it evolved is because of the economic pressures that were placed in
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the country. it had nothing to do with morality or the sankty of human life. it had nothing to do -- some divine revelation by the founders. the founders by 3/5 make america's constitutioning stand above all other written constitution in the world, because it qualifies a human being as -- although we argue it's about representation. the clause itself speaks to the moral senseibilities that drove the founders to ensure that this sense, this ideal that blacks were not equal to whites. that this ideal remained permanent and consistent throughout every facet of law that governed the land. host: i'ven from north carolina. american heritage.com tells us about the three people in the room that did not sign the document, eldridge gary whose
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name will be forever rebbed as considered to can i be thing to gerrymandering. 43 years old at the time from marble ahead, massachusetts and george mason from virginia and ed misunderstand randolph. written before the other delegates head to listen to gary and randolph and mason voice their de70's. the greatest resident vacation to the constitution in his mind was the power given congress to make whatever laws it quote may feliz call necessary and proper. end quote. with such powers given congress, gary could not put his name on the document. to randolph thinking dangerous power has been given to the document and thought the states ought to be able to aamend them t laws. >> it was named constitution day by the recently deceased senator robert bird of
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virginia, and he hoped that schools and around the country would teach the document on this day. next is market heights illinois from you are independent line. you're on the air. caller: thank you for c-span. i think it's a living document but i agree with the caller from tennessee that we have amendments and ways of doing things that not just recently but the last few president that is signed these executive orders are unconstitutional. congress is the only one who has the power to change the constitution, and i'm involved with the tea party in illinois. we passed out constitutions at least two or three times a week. there's a new f.b.i. field document, i'd be happy to email it to you that says that they have lists of terrorist groups and under they have christians on there, anybody that refers or quotes the the constitution on a f.b.i. all-field agents
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awareness list. and that should be very surprising and very -- the american people should be very worried about that. but thank you for c-span. host: david from illinois. politico, the actress jeannine turner who has formed an organization study around the study of the constitution and another have this to facilitate the -- this reading. our two groups, let freedom ring and constitution america have come together in a joint sponsorship in an effort to encourage people to read the constitution. another we read the constitution.com we are asking people to take a few moments on saturday to gather for a public reading of the document. it takes only an thundershower read it allowed. people may gather in a neighbor's backyard. boys and girls clubs wer hoping
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to bring groups together to fuel people about what the dwrithes supposed to be. the site we read the constitution.com. next in portland, oregon, jim on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. i believe in it's an original document, because what you get when you have a living constitution is changing interpretation. one of those is taking in foreign laws and foreign legal systems. and that is taken under the living dew point. the other is just in the last couple of days, justice bryer suggested maybe we should ban burning the koran because of foreign senseibilities. that is part of a living document. when you have a living document, it's whoever is in control of the document. whoever is on the supreme court. whatever president has been tacking the supreme court with
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whatever political persuasion they believe in. it leads to tierney. the original intent is something we voted on back at the constitutional convention. back in the congress. those signers that signed the declaration 226 years ago or whatever it was, this day, that is democracy, is when the original intent of the people who voted on it at the time is honored. if we don't do that, it's just whoever happens to be in power. two wolves and sheep asking what's for dinner? that's our constitution to protect minority rights. host: thank you. i'm sorry to cut you off there. but topic about which people feel passionately, and we are trying to move the conversation john, democrat's line. welcome to the discussion. caller: thank you, susan. happy constitution day, and i
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would like to also throw in there the bill of rights. too. and my comment about your question of living document or original intent, it kind of goes both ways. the one caller or a few callers back talking about the slavery changing the constitution to eliminate slavery shows the living document part of it. and then the original intent, the constitution and the bill of rights were intended for living, breathing human beings, flesh and blood. and in my lifetime, i would love to see raiser-sharp clarity defining people as persons and no longer corporations. eliminateer correspondent personhood. i would love to see that in my lifetime, and thank you so much for c-span and thank you for allowing me to talk. host: thank you for
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participating. ed full they are in, a name you might know for his leadership of the heritage foundation has a think piece about the constitution in this morning's washington times. he writes even america's bitterest enemies understand why we mark july 4 to celebrate the signing of the declaration of independent independence. we're proud of our nation and justifiabley so-so why do we egg ignore september 17 in if any one factor can explain why our republic has endured and indeed thrived it's this unique charter which outline it is form of government best designed to safe guard life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness yet today on many issues this final document is frequently ignored even undermined by some of the very people who have taken a public to the uphold it. next is santa rosa, california,
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bill? on our independent line. caller: good morning. i do read the constitution, and in addition to that i read supreme court decisions from time to time. including the citizens united decision. an i think if more people read these, although, it's a lot of work, they'd be less concerned. there's a lot more to it than just a simple corporations being a person. i also read justice byer s's book, "active liberty," and i think he made a very good case for his point of view. i still lean as a lib are taryn more towards ask alya's interpretation. because i think it gives the citizen the best chance of understanding what the law is. if you sort of have to know what a judge might think it means, it's a lot more difficult than if, you know, there's words that you can read
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and study and come to a more concrete understanding. so ask alya's -- scalia is more towards let the words change the constitution. host: joe public tweets politicians use the constitution when it's to their advantage, and when it's not they say it's old and outdated. next, james, democrat's line from washington. welcome to our conversation. caller: good morning. the conversation was -- the constitution was written for europeans who were the founders or the -- who -- this country and not written for the the whole peoples. if you read the constitution, the constitution for rich europeans who came to this continent. the same of who signed it all of whom were landowners. and these are not for the poor
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europeans ornative indians or anybody else. the constitution need to be updated. and i thank you. host: by email robert metcalf of pennsylvania writes it's always been a living document and further more the founding fathers wanted it to be so and demonstrated by provisions for amending it. >> another says some may read it like it's the bible and others twist it to suit their purposes. nedges phone call new orleans. good morning. eustace on the republican line, you're on the air. new orleans, eustace? are you there? caller: can you hear me? host: yes. caller: what i'm saying is if we could get the original writers and bring them here today, i think that it should be a change in the constitution, because if you take the call and we've the
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invention of the car and we've gone to the moon. i think it's time for a revision of the constitution and the bible. those are two documents that are based on each other, and i think it's time to change, because everything else has changed. all the race stuff, that's all another thing. so i think it's time to revise the constitution and the bible. >> eustace from new orleans, louisiana. in 1986, prior to the 200th anniversary celebration of the constitution, which was a commission led by former supreme court chief warren burger, a book came out called miracle at philadelphia written by katherine drinker bohn and it's a story of the constitutional convention. it's in our archives if you'd like to see an interview with
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miss bohn here, we made at the time books and we checked at amazon.com and the selling price is $6.87 if you're interested in katherine drinker bohn's view of the story of the constitutional convention may to september 1787. next dallas? caller: i consider myself an originalist. but there are a number of terms in the constitution that are very ambiguous. just a couple quick advances from article 1, section 8, the commerce clause, you touched on the necessary and proper clause that caused jerry not to sign it. the general well fare clause. there are ways, and i agree with callers who say the best way to clarify that is through amendment. through the amendment process. the previous caller said there's only one way to amend
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the constitution. there are two. congress can propose amendments. that's way we've always done it. but there's also the constitutional convention method under article v. sam irvine attempted to make clarifications on mao that second pathway to amendment could be specified, because it's very, very ambiguous and there's a lot of legal argument over you are the. i would hope one day you might do a show on article v. host: carl, thank you so much for your call. a viewer who calls himself summer storms tweets if the founding fathers didn't think it was a living duregets why have the supreme court? next is dr. per nan from the democratic's line. how are you? caller: good. my name is ferdinand. i'm not from here. yes, ma'am. i'm calling about -- host: are you still there?
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with apologies, we lost that connection. let's go on to phoenix next. this is charlotte on our democrat's line. original intent or living document on this constitution day? caller: well, i think it's a living document, but the reason i think it's a living document, is because it's supposed to be how we carry out what the declaration wanted. the declaration of itched. -- of independence. so if you look at it that way, it should be a living document so long as whatever you add to it provides for what the declaration of independence said they wanted, which was life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. and there's not much beyond that. host: thank you, charlotte. the constitution is in the news and politico. jake sherman and caller is telling us house and -- is going to prep a list of 20 initiatives.
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one of the g.o.p. proposals would require bills to have a specific citation of constitutional authority. on the heels of criticism that democrats breeched their constitutional limits in congress with big ticket bills like health care reform. next wayne, democrat's line. good morning. caller: good morning. i just like to quote the get a orator, george m w. bush when his aide said, mr. president, you can't do that, that's unconstitutional, and his response to the man was stop throwing your t g.d. constitution in my face. it's just a g.d. piece of paper. thank you. host: another more recent book apt about is summer of 1787, if you go on c-span's archives,
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you'll find an interview with mr. stuart about his book and more about the history of that constitutional con sflention philadelphia. we are talking about the constitution, asking you whether or not you read it and whether or not you consider yourself to be one of those who believes it's a living documental subject to interpretation or an originalist who believes in the original text of the constitution. next is the call from playersville, georgia. this is richard, independent line. good morning. caller: yes, good morning, susan, the constitution is an original. the founding fathers wrote the constitution not deal with specific problems of their day but to human nature. that's why they have the checks and balances in there for all time. constitution was written right along -- they use the bible as a guide. old testament, new testament,
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and i think it was samuel adams that said the pillars of congress are two. one of them is the religion, the other is morality. however, today, we have our elected rulers or officials that do not believe in the constitution. they take an oath -- they've taken an oath to the constitution to protect and preserve it, and then they break it or don't believe it before they even get into office. one is president obama. another one would be chief justice society mayor. you have the film of her when she said on the appellate court and said that they ruled from the court. they legislate. they set policy. they are not supposed to do it, she said, however, they do it anyway, because they think they know better than the constitution. host: thank you. next up, nashville, tennessee,
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tomi. from our democrats line. caller: going. i believe it's a living document. there's several reasons why. let me give you at least two here. it's the way that the preamble is written. and everything after the preamble is making the preamble come to life. and it's we the people of the united states in order to form a more perfect union. that is a progressive thing. and the other things after that are what the government is supposed to do for the people. they are supposed to ensure domestic tranquility, establish justice. those things provide for the common defense. it's more than just protecting us. it's actually protecting us from ourselves. and our corporations.
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and our people that would pollute us. the second thing is the amendment number nine. in the there to say that we don't know what all the laws are. that the people would like to have. and we -- we are not to deny them the right to make more laws. thank you, very much. host: tommy from nashville. we have 10 more minutes left in this conversation about the constitution on constitution day 2010. numbers came out about the economic situations of americans. different headlines. 34 papers picked up on the working age poverty level, which as you can see in the financial times they write is at a 50-year high. similar choice by the philadelphia inareaor with the lead story, poverty hit a ooh-year high. and up from 13.2 and
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pennsylvania, new jersey, to 11 and 9.3. "new york times" also chose recession raises poverty trite a 15-year high. one in seven struggle until 2009. biggest increase in children. >> some other papers took the statistics in a different direction. record rise in u.s. uninsured. a million, the numbers re-ignite a debate over health care laufment front page, senior incomes up. this is lead on it. senior citizens are enjoying some of the biggest income gains at a time when every other age group is losing ground 31 million households headed by people 65 and older saw their median income rise in 2009 after inflation and 7.1 since the recession began in december, 2007.
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every other age group suffered income losses of at least 4% during the recession, data shows. and finally "the wall street journal" did median family income calling it the lost decade for family income. here is the operative paragraph. the family household snack in the middle. even worse than the 1970's when median income rose just by high unemployment and inflation. between 2007 and 2009, incomes fell 4.2%. those are all the numbers out of the census bureau yesterday. we're talking to you about the constitution and whether or not you believe it's original intent or a living document on this constitution day, 2010. next is a call? wes lynn, michigan. al, republican line. good morning, sir. caller: hi. how are you doing? host: great. caller: the constitution protects everybody.
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ital protects everybody from tierney and government. communism. another caller called earlier saying the constitution was written by europeans. it's actually anti-slavery if you read it. because it says you have to -- you can only county 3/5 of your slave population towards your representation. so in order to get full representation, those states would have to free the slaves. instead they'd have to county 50,000 to get that one rep. so if they want more representation in congress, they have to free those african slaves. host: thank you, al. the most popular photograph in the papers today is a variation of this one. it is the -- this is the pope as he makes his first visit to the u.k. and there with the
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octogenarian queen. as he makes his first visit as pontiff to the u.k. -- first visit of a pontiff to the u.k. caller: constitutions put out as an original document but had to turn into a living document based on several things. the constitution didn't cover the slaves, indians, women and it didn't cover servants who came over on the boat. who could that leave? the richland owners who were white men. that's way the constitution was written for and that's who it was written for only. none of those other individuals are covered in the original writing of the constitution. so all the stuff these people keep saying it didn't cover slaves, indians, women or servants, those who couldn't
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afford host: mavericks tweets the scoteith interpretted the constitution. so it has not stood test of time. the times picayune in new orleans has a constitutional -related story as it marks 50 years ago sit-ins at canal street lunch counters. here's the photograph from september 10, 1963, a sitin at wool worth's. and lom bart who was black and another who was white sat at the white-only lunch counterand the four sat quietly refusing to leave until they were arrested. and as the story note it is case went all the way to the supreme court. we're talking to you about the constitution and your view of it. watching us in chicago, good morning, james, you're on the air. caller: hi.
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i'm in the chicago area. host: ok. caller: the important thing i'd like everybody to lead the to get your pencil and paper out and write this down. right-way law. they are out of ohio. right way law.com. the important thing i need to say to everybody is the constitution is not the law of the land. president lincoln was assassinated before he could bring the constitution back as the law of the land because it was set aside by executive order tore do the civil war deal. prior to 1824 the scuths copies the 139 amendment says no lawyers can hold public office. why? because the british set all that legal system up in the colonies. and then when the takeover occurred, in the revolution, there's a number of things that were going on. and currently they changed that. the lawyers have the
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opportunity to do the political business, the campaigning, because they are much wealthier than the rest of the folks and much smarter in that regard. since that time president lincoln's assassination, who took over in the american bar is part of the british bar. they took over but of course, they didn't tell anybody. now what we have here is a country where they purport to the people. it's actually they are the ruleers and we are their cattle. government does nothing more than organize time very similar to doney sopranoo. host: ok. mike freeman tweets the constitution has its problems, the compromises to get the small population rural states has been a problem ever since holding back from common sensal acts. next is a call from brown town. p.j. republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. the constitution, the adoption of it was a bad deal. the previous form of government was much better for the common
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people, for the common worker. the states write to articles of confederation. they should have never thought of the constitution. it didn't work as intended. and it's being used against the common people in america, the working man and it's being used to support the big corporations which america s has come to represent. host: deparey duncan tweets we should only change the constitution under dire circumstances and ending slavery and giving women the right to vote. not stop drinking the and the like. >> fur inspired, c-span.org, we have a link to the full text. we'll be right back. we have three guests coming up. first congresswoman donna edwards just won her primary handily. and talking about the democrats and the midterm elections and the red-to-blue program. later we'll have david limbaugh
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whose book "crimes against liberty" is on the best-seller list. we'll learn to the hazards attached to all the pipelines that bring us all of the chemicals and other gas to help us live our lives, and what regular lace regulations are there to prenth us from some of those hazards. so we'll be right back with representative donna edwards in just a moment. >> saturday night bill clinton joins tony blair for a discussion of their years in office. "a journey, my political life" is tony blair's new memoir. on c-span 2. >> for me or anyone else who is considering continuing on in public service, i think the real question is do you have a vision? a positive vision for the
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direction the country should head and do you have a demonstrated seat set of experience that show you can handle it and get it done. >> outgoing governor tim pawlenty. his eight years as governor, sunday on c-span. >> warren brown twrites weekly car column for "the washington post." >> it is argueible, i think jufbling to have an argument to say we would not have a black middle class had we not had general motors, ford and chrysler. >> in 2008 he supported the government bailout of the auto industry. on c-span's q & a. "washington journal" continues. host: on your screen is representative donna edwards of maryland. she is the co-chair of a program that's being organized by the congressional democratic
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committee called red-to-blue. what is it? >> as democrats we're looking at some of these congressional districts where it's possible to pick up seats for democrats. there are a few of them around the country. and i am helping to help those candidates and make sure we can maintain our democratic majority. host: for the past month or so it seems poll numbers and most of the copy analysis and people who cover politics have been decidedly disadvantaging democrats, especially in the house of representatives. are you not willing to take those analysis at first-level analysis? are you pushing back against them and suggesting you might keep the zort guest: absolutely. because in every congressional district. it's different. and i think that some of these national numbers don't reflect what's really happening in congressional districts and the relationship so many of our members stweal have with their
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con constituents. spetcheding a lot of time talking with constituents about what we've done and accomplished as democrats and the fact that we're out there protecting the middle class. host: there's a -- here's how it ends, democrats should not get too comfortable or excited about republican in-fighting this fall nearly six dozen democratic house members are considered to be at risk compared with about 10 republicans. guest: well, you know, again, i think it's a national analysis, but if you goal district-by-district, it's a difficult time and a difficult time in the economy. and we're feeling that as the party in power. but i wouldn't sort of throw the baby out with the bath water quite yet. host: let's hear your analysis of what you think is going on with the eelectric rat? guest: i come from a heavily democratic district but a lot of concerns about the economy.
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i won a primary election just a couple days ago. what i hear is people are really concerned about jobs and not just folks who have lost their jobs recently but long-term sustained uncomplment. and i know this is what our colleagues are hearing around the country. well, -- i think that's the unsettled part of the electorate that people are thinking about their pocketbooks. you that he had headlines today about the poverty rate, increasing poverty in children. 1 in 5 children. and i think it highlight it is difference between where the democrats want to take the country and where the republicans would take us. we want to protect the middle class and increase opportunities for our young people. and i think increasingly, district-by-district, voters are understanding that democrats really do want to move forward.
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and republicans trotting out some of these policies that were really failed when we tried them over the last 20 years is not going to be a quick sell to the american public. guest: for example, let's take the discussion about the tax cuts. it's really clear that extending tax cuts for the wealthiest of americans is actually what's put so many of us -- so many of our con constituents in poverty and unprotected s an left us unregulated in the financial sector. and our future is kind of jeopardized. so i think the difference between republicans and democrats is we're really looking at protecting the middle class, extending tax cuts for people making under $300,000 and $250,000 a year. i know in my congressional district that would cover about 98% of us. that really is a difference.
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we have all this conversation about the definite. as a democrat i'm concerned about the deficit, too, but when you have on the table tax cuts for the wealthiest 27 of americans, that's what's not sustainable. host: the discussion is brown, keeping control of the house of representatives and the issues that surround that debate this fall. we welcome your calls. your comments by email and by twitter. and as you can see those of you watching television the numbers are right beneath me on the screen. we'll give them later for our radio listeners. our first segment from politico which i probably won't be able to find what i'm looking for butal suggesting the republicans in the house are about to come with a 20-point strategy of policy positions meant to provide a road map about how they would lead the house of representatives. you emphasised the district-by-al district nature. in your effort, will you have a
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grand strategy that will cut across all districts or are you going to go in and -- >> well, i think the overall mess sg democrats are interested in continuing policy that isal protect the middle class. i think that's an overriding concern of ours. creating jobs and opportunities for the future. you already see the president has announced that really intense manufacturing strategy. a strategy for getting americans back to work. i think that's an overarching thing. but for each district it's different. the -- in my district it has to do with technology and innovation in the scientific field. in another district it may have to deal with the production of solar panels. so i think, the theme will continue about protecting the middle class. i had an just was thinking this morning about the health care bill we did. i know not a lot of people are out there talking about health care now.
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but next week, actually on the 23rd, in fact,, we are able to extend health care coverage for young people like my son who turned 22 and came off of my health insurance plan. i can put him back on my health insurance plan now. for people who have preexisting conditions, young children who have preexisting conditions, because of the law we passed in the spring, now those young people will be able to be covered by health care. so the list goes on. the overarching thing is what are we doing for the middle class and doing to enshower our young people can go to college and actually get a job when they come out of college? these are the concerns the democrats have. host: with the several implementations of the health care law, we will have a guest on our news paper's programs taped this morning at 11:00 and air it after 10:00 a.m. eastern
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time. our first caller for representative donna edwards. this is david who is calling us on the democrats line. good morning. david, turn that tv volume down, please. i can hear the feedback. caller: i got it. goon. good morning. good morning. whenever we hear about -- the criticism about spending. spending. why -- what's so hard about saying, yes, we're spending it on the country, on people. and not on foreign wars or elsewhere? i mean, it would -- i felt like it was all delayed for the eight years that republicans were in power. we had, i remember so clearly how when they talk about the surplus back then, they kept saying this just means that we have -- we're taking in too much money. we have to give it back to the people. and nobody seems to remember that. that when they had surplus, they didn't do anything about
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social security. the social security was in this state back then. and it was, they just neggetted us. with the surplus they didn't do anything to shore up anything, so people need to be reminded about this. so any hour, nobody seems to say that whenever they complain about spending. yes, we need to spend, invest. you know, we need this 21st century schools. >> thank you. guest: you know, david makes a really good point. and i think the challenge here is what kind of spending? and so for example, i look at, susan, spending on transportation, water and sewer, infrastructure, and say that's ab investment today that pays off in jobs and opportunities but really 20 years down the line and we've really disinvested in our infrastructure across the u.s. our bridges and roads and the fact that we are just now dwog
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high speed rail win. so those actually pay off multiple tiles over the course of 12 years. >> next up is antonio, republican line from 23e68d. good morning antonio. >> hi. good morning. how are you? >> your question. caller: what i've been trying to figure out is regardless of whether it's for republican or democrat or independent, what's really being done to help the people? jobs are clearly the issue. and congress to me is arguing about an issue that's really not significant in terms of tax cuts. it's chryslerly from an economics stand point, if they do roll back these tax cuts, whatever the legislation will be, ultimately the rich will stop spending, and therefore the whole economy will come to a stand still. so when you look at people not having jobs. conscience hasn't done
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anything to -- congress hasn't done anything to extent extend it further and the party i believe is ok. ultimately, it's about the people. and the thing that i've noticed is i keep seeing, well, we all see how congress is fighting to keep their jobs when they were voted into office to help the people. and it just seems to me dirt is overriding. they shouldn't have went out on vacation. there were so many laws and ethics they should have done. as a congress person, i'm just trying to figure out where do you see the jobs? where do you see the economy? i mean, i'm looking for work. and i have a finance background. and i'm looking for work. and i just wanted to know if you know anybody or i can call your office, i'm not above asking for work, and i'm looking for work. and just give me your view of how you're helping people in terms of looking for jobs.
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guest: antonio, i thank you for the question. i know in my congressional district when we were on break, on recess i held a job fair, and we had 2685 people who came tout this job fair. we had about 75 customers there offering jobs. not nearly as many as we need, so i understand what the struggles are. the interesting thing to me is it was a range of people who were seeking jobs from people in their 50's who are newly into the job market tore young people coming out of college, to people who don't have the highest skills also looking for employment. so we know that that's a problem out there. but i tell you, it was really a struggle before we went out on break, fighting, frankly, with republicans about extending unemployment. which to me seemed like a no-brainer, susan. but it turned out to be a partisan battle.
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host: this is john boehner at a press conference talking about the midterm elections. >> every member or candidate has to stand for election. in many cases both a primary election and a general election. as i said yesterday, i talked to my members a year and a half ago about making sure they were in close contact with their con constituents and talking with act cyst visits in theiral districts. and most offs them have done a very good job of reaching out to all their constituents. >> the need for getting into the mix with voters in this particular year. host: are you finding going through the primary there are more people that are engaged than past go round? guest: oh, people are engaged. they come out. i was a little disappointed, frankly in our primary election turnout. i actuallyal thought it would be higher than what it was. but the those people actually had an opportunity to speak. i know at my town hall meetings
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whether they were in person, we had a lot of people who engaged, and some of them for the first time. host: here's the speaker talking about tax cuts at a press conference yesterday. >> the middle class should have a tax cut. 97% of the people. let me enlarge that. 100% of the people get a tax cut. 97% of them make $250,000 and below. but everybody, up until whatever they make gets the tax cut up to the first $250,000 that they as joint filers make. so it just doesn't keep on going and going and going. host: the speaker talking yesterday about the democrat's approach to the tax debate. this viewer tweets tax rl back of the rich result ins 0.7 trillion total revenue, the
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debt is now $13 trillion and greasing annually by $1.4 trillion. big deal. guest: well, every deal is a big deal. we can't afford to sustain these tax cuts. $7 billion for one year for -- we could put that into job creation. at $700 billion was about the cost of a stimulus package. we could actually put that into createling jobs and transportation, water and sewer. infrastructure. job training. i'd like to actually see us extend the -- or make whole the research and development tax credit. because i think when you invest in research and development, that, that, too, pays off. i'd like to have that tax credit and group it with domestic manufacturing. so we can make sure we are beginning to manufacture again in this country. those are job creation opportunities, but you can't do
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it if you're taking $700 billion a year, and giving it really only to your top 2%. what we do know about the folks that make under $250,000, is that they put their money into the economy. and at the upper income levels, they don't. . .
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gone out of business because of the unfair competition. yeah no, the fact is, we don't want any more excuses. how many will like it when i get up the phone? the fact is, make employment verification mandatory for every job within the i-9 guidelines. imagine the impact of at least 6 million to 8 million of our own going back to work, going out and patronizing those businesses. and as these people go out and go to these businesses, they can grow, hire more people, require the use of higher technology and even get into the upper jobs like the financial -- the man who was on the phone, he doesn't have a job. i can guarantee you -- you all have missed the opportunity over
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and over again and every time we hear about amnesty it makes my blood boil. host: here is an analysis we just showed, "the new york times," democrats reaching out to hispanic some immigration bill. why the timing? guest: i think it is really important to the paris sells for what we know. we have to have a comprehensive way to deal with immigration and to control our borders. all the best -- us know that, businesses, members of congress. sometimes the politics to not necessarily allow for that. i believe that unless we address these in a responsible way, both looking at border control, also dealing with people who are already here and try to have some sense of who is coming in and it is regulated, we are going to continue to see the difficulties that we do across the country. whether that is in employment in ink -- communities where what is happening directly across the border. host: what are the demographics
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in maryland 4? guest: we have a growing hispanic regulation in maryland. i can see it throughout our neighborhoods, the suburbs of maryland outside of washington, d.c. that will increase. we also have a huge number of immigrants from other countries. african immigrants, immigrants from other places. it south and central america and europe as well. pretty diverse. host: sebring, florida. terri, a republican line. guest: the lady from virginia took away all of my thunder and the comments i wanted to make. i just wanted to let the viewers know that david -- david limbaugh is coming up and he has an incredible book. if anybody wants an opportunity to realize what this administration is doing -- to this country, the under handedness. hopefully, donna, you might want to pick up and read it because
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it is unbelievable what this president and how he is treating this country is unbelievable. i hope the republicans and the tea party take back this country. guest: you know, we hear these comments all the time but i want to go back to something mary alluded to and that was -- the previous caller, and it was about the job loss. let us really be clear. when the president came into office in 2009, we were losing 700,000 jobs a month and that had been trending through the bush administration. it was really because of some of the difficult choices that we made in the congress that it has actually put us on the path to private sector growth. i know in my state of maryland, we have now i think five months of growth in the private sector, which is a really important. you can't go for a couple of years losing 700,000 jobs a month and change the formula overnight, but we have done
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important things putting ourselves on the path to job growth. and it is never as fast as someone who is unemployed once it to be, but i think we are getting there. host: "roll call" headline. there is an interview with a moderate republican from ohio district won by president obama. he says in his article that purges are going on in both parties, but some democrats who voted against the health care bill being shunned by unions and other liberal groups. guest: susan, as you said, there is a lot of volatility going on with the electorate. although i -- although i think there is so much on my -- more going on in the republican party, but it is interesting to watch, someone like mike castle who cannot survive a party primary. you see it over and over. senator murkowski in alaska cannot survive a party primary
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because the challenges that coming really from the far right of that party. and i think, frankly, republicans need to get a little bit worried about whether they are going to be a very small and insular party because they don't reach out to moderates even in their own ranks. host: it is this " secret that this is also going on with the democrats? guest: i think very little. in these individual congressional districts that some members took a boat that i did not say -- i was very supportive of the healthcare bill -- to there is some volatility as well. but i think if these democrats go back to the district and they explain and, frankly, many of them both to represent their districts. their votes on health care and some of the other policies are reflective of their district. as democrats, we have a really big tent and sometimes it is not possible to satisfy all at one time but we do try to satisfy most. host: another interpretation of
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that which, again, you recently with greater frequency is that this time around there is an enthusiasm that the genegap by people at the farther left, those who were really -- enthusiasm gap from the far left, those who supported barack obama. are they not as engaged? guest: i think across the board, we have people who are engaged and activists and i can already see it happening in my state where we had a real challenge for a democrat over in our eastern shore. we've got lots of people volunteering and beginning to make the phone calls. we have a governor's race starting to heat up. castenthusiasm gap, don't the rating on the wall right yet. host: battle creek, michigan. kevin, democrats line. caller: thank you for c-span2 did you do a great job.
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america would be lost without you. host: thank you. caller: a few points and a question for the host, if i could. i want to be quick. i am going to talk about the legal system and its effect on black people, poor people. let me excluded color. let us talk about the affect of the legal system. it is a recession. the bush administration, the lost decade. when you have people out of work, hungry, people who may have meant mistake and had felonies and cannot get a job and they come back home to their families -- son, daughter, mom, brothers, sisters, and they can't effectively contribute to the household, they are going to find ways -- you hear it. hustle, grind it out, try to do something.
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i moved to detroit from battle creek and what i find in the white population or white- dominated areas is, when white port cannot get a job and they are pushed back -- the hand is forced, they go out and fix some houses and put some troops are due so long care. they do door-to-door with their husband and they are grinding. in the black neighborhoods, and detroit, there is a lot different because you do not have a lot of that opportunity. every neighborhood or block as big, open locked and field, so you don't have people fixing roofs. you don't even have houses to fix. you hearing what i mean? i am saying, let us talk about the affect of poverty on the poor people is my main point. i wanted thank you. i've got so many things to say. let us just focus on that. and what they really need -- we will win this election. host: thank you, kevin.
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guest: kevin underscores what the challenges. we have to create jobs at every sector of the end, the latter. higher skilled jobs, to those who have lower skills. investing in people getting trades and technical and vocational educational and training. investing in science and technology so our engineers can go back to work. but the fact is, when people are struggling, they are looking for a way to get out of it and willing to do an awful lot of things, and we need to create opportunities. host: will you help people understand how to interpret this? this is "the wall street journal." washington firms soak up stimulus. they write the economic stimulus package has meant big business for contractors around the beltway.
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guest: when you think about the stimulus package, $786 billion and it is $3 billion going to make sure the agencies are getting the grant and the formula funds out to the states -- i know in my state, for example, we just a raceme to in
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our congressional district $1.8 million to help with home foreclosures. somebody had to make sure we got that. that is where some of the money goes. but it is actually less than 5% of the entire stimulus package. the overwhelming majority of stimulus funds went out to the states in the formula funding -- bridges, water and sewer, laying broadband, and creating jobs. host: pennsylvania. george, a republican line. caller: thank you for c-span. appreciate it. a couple of questions for your guest. she made mention that she wants to protect the middle class and i am not really sure how understand taxing the producers in society is going to do that? i think the democrats have been successful and spreading misery around. one of the comments i heard a while back or read somewhere is that america is inherently unfair because we all have three
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choices to get an education. not everybody who could -- and do whatever it is we need to do. but she seems to feel that the government is able to create jobs. the government can spend money. ibarra from our grandchildren. i just think it is foolhardy. she made represent her constituency, however, i am a different constituency and i am getting tired of paying. we are one of the people who will be affected by this tax -- c the bush -- cuts" are about to sunset and i am not too happy about it and i wonder if she has a comment on those two issues. guest: thank you for the question. but the point is that for the top 2% or 3% of income earners, it merely means going back to the tax rates that were in place frankly when president clinton was president and we had
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a real economic growth. it means making sure that families who make under 250 k -- $250,000 enjoy the extension of the tax cuts. it saves us $700 billion a year that we would actually be spending for those top 3% income earners. there are other things, too. in terms of a recovery, in terms of rebuilding our economy, it can't just be a discussion about tax cuts alone. again, the research and development that i talked about, investing in research and development, investing in manufacturing, sparring that so that it happens in the private sector, those create opportunities for the middle- class. host: one of the people who is writing about the enthusiasm gap is washington post columnist eugene robinson. this headline -- don't bet on a gop meltdown.
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here is how he concludes it. republicans invited the tea party into the gop tent and now have to worry about being devoured but at least the party it is filled with passion, energy, and resolve, which can be said of the democrats, at least not with a straight face. to that extent, i agree with eugene robinson we have to create our own environment for opportunity and a party and moving forward. we can't rely on just what may or may not have been within the republican party. but we have a good story to tell in the american people and i think democrats -- i say and all the time, let us put our shoulders up and put our heads up for the good things we have done to move the economy forward and to tell that story throughout our congressional district.
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and for our base, what i would say to them, it is really about 2012. interested in making sure this president succeed. it requires having a democratic congress. democratic majority in the united states congress. and we have a good story to tell about what we have done to shore up the economy. we have a good story about the way we protect consumers from but kind of financial ruin that was taking place in the bush administration. a good story to tell about protecting social security from privatization. we have a good story to tell about how we are making sure that young people have an opportunity to further their education and not come out with huge amounts of debt. so i would say to democrats -- 2010 is really about 2012. host: what kind of tools because the campaign committee had in its tool chest?
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what are you able to do under campaign finance laws? guest: in addition to raising money for democrats -- that is one thing we are due and owing quite well. but we also have that ability to provide assistance with campaigns -- messaging assistant, assistance with developing a field plan to go and reach the voters. working with our candidates to make sure that they have the right operation in place to reach out to their constituents and come out at 50 + 1. host: are there specific limits in terms of dollars the dccc and give to any particular race? guest: on its own it cannot spend independently on a race, completely independent of candidates. it happens sometimes. also happens on the republican side. individuals can give -- dccc 10 assists individuals and in giving directly to the campaigns. i know that is what i have been trying to do with a number of my
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candidates and colleagues across the country, making sure that our donors, those that believe in what we have to offer for the american people will step up and support some of the campaigns. a wide ranging amount of support. we have a real challenge in trying to make sure that and all of these congressional district, we are going to the mat. because if we don't, we don't want to hold on to and the money's waiting for next year. it is time to spend that now. time to organize now. time for any of this talk about the enthusiasm -- and enthusiasm gap to be set aside because we have work to do. host: your chair is fellow marylander chris van holland, wondering if maryland has a front and center role -- chris van hollen.
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guest: the majority leader, as any lawyer,steny hoyer, and together we represent two major in our state outside of washington. it is great leadership and being able to learn from them. host: a twitter viewer tweets -- guest: you know, here is what i would say to that. we spent decades trying to figure out how to deliver health care to the vast majority of the american people. i suppose if i had been in my bedroom as a liberal, progressive, i would have
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written the perfect bill and i would have been the only one to vote for it. that is not what we did. i think we said a found a -- foundation for health-care reform. i think it is a good foundation on which to build and what i would say to that comment is, let's move forward. let's figure out how to strengthen it. we know we can strengthen it with democrats. we are not going to strengthen this with a republican majority so we need your enthusiasm, we need you making phone calls and working hard and casting votes for democrats at the polls. host: about 10 more minutes left with a don edwards, maryland, co-chair of house democrats -- seeking to target individual races to keep the democratic majority in the house. naples, florida. barbara on the independent line. caller: good morning. i am so happy to see that two of you there. ms. edwards, you are a wonderful spokesperson for women and your
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party. i was so disturbed to see the list that the reporter on cnn came up with about this young woman spending campaign money to go bowling. things that i hope they irs or another militant federal agency will catch her. i think this woman is delusional. how anyone could bear to stand up for a federal office and lie about her education, it is just beyond me. i have been active in politics all my life with my husband, late husband, and it is appalling seen people like this get national attention. i do hope that democrats,
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anybody would challenge her and forced her into the shadows where she belongs. but thank you for your service. i enjoy watching you speak when you are on the floor. and i love c-span. but have a good day. good luck and god bless. guest: tico -- thank you, barbara. anybody who stands for public office, none of us that as politicians are perfect but we do have a duty to be honest because we enjoy the public trust. one thing barbara pointed out, and we have not gotten to it in this congress, is the need for campaign finance reform so we can get all of this money out of politics and have elected officials really focus on the business of running the country and setting the direction of the country and not on the business of just raising money. host: what will next month look like legislatively in the house?
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guest: we are trying to figure out how it is we can make sure that we put in place the ability to create some jobs in this country. spurring that private sector development and opportunity that we spoke about earlier. i think we can expect to see that. i would like to see us go forward with the authorization of nasa. i think the folks at nasa need to have the clarity going forward. that is really important. we had a number of bills that would pass out of the house that are awaiting action in the senate. it was good to see the senate moving forward on the small business infrastructure that they passed a earlier this week. it will be a busy time and a short period of time as many of our members are getting back into campaigning for reelection.
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host: will there be an immigration debate? guest: it is unclear right now. host: college park, maryland. ben, republican line. are you there? caller: yes. first-time caller. i enjoy very much c-span program. i just want to mention, you know, a huge sanctuary for illegal immigrants. and the job problem mostly being related to illegal immigration. they are taking all blue caller workers in the washington metropolitan area. there are not 10 million -- and maybe just in florida or california. the last five years, they keep saying 10 million -- every day they are adding on top of that.
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it is just a problem. anything blue-collar, that americans use to work, none of them anymore. most i believe is illegal and if you look in the washington metropolitan area, 90% of the vans driving over there are the people who are here illegally and taking the jobs from america. it's good thank you for making your first call here. guest:ben is calling from college park, which neighbors my district and the county i live in. i think like counties all across the country, we are very diverse. we have a huge immigrant population. i know when i am at the store or a street, i cannot tell if
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somebody is here legally or illegally. what i do know is immigrants really contributed to the vibrancy and so many of our communities throughout montgomery county, maryland, as they do across the country. i think everyone clear message is we have to deal comprehensively with immigration. and i think when you have a situation where you also have a lot of unemployment. people sometimes find ways to identify what the cause of the unemployment is. but the fact is, we came out of a really deep recession. there is huge unemployment. and we have to create opportunities for people to go back to work. and those opportunities are for the good first population in our district and across the country. host: that is it for our time. you expect to do lots of traveling? guest: i will be on the road helping out some of my democratic colleagues across the country and in my own state. host: thank you for the time.
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thank you for coming back. congresswoman donna edwards from maryland. we will take a break. when we come back, our next guest will be david limbaugh, and you heard from our caller from the latest book "crimes against liberty: an indictment of president barack obama and it is topping the best- seller list and a number of lists. >> c-span's local content vehicles are travelling the country visiting communities and congressional districts as we look at some of the most closely contested house races leading up to this november's midterm elections. ♪ ♪ >> how are you folks tonight? nice to meet you. how are you? are you from near here?
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all the way, they're just from the festival? >> anybody -- oriented tootsie rolls? here we go. it is not bubblegum. i am running for congress. good seeing you all. >> you can't buy a boat. [laughter] >> . county is the main area. and also involves part of crawford, mercer, some of the other areas down south. the candidates and this race are the incumbent who is from erie, a democrat. she won two years ago, and seated a longtime republican incumbent in a big money rates were five or $6 million were spent. her opponent is mike kelly from butler, car dealer, former city councilman down there. he came out of a pretty crowded field in the primary.
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did not win by a lot percentage of the vote but ended up as the republican nominee. . county, especially because of the city's voters -- registration edge does have a little bit of democratic advantage. 2 and 1/2 to one democrat to republican voter registration. but as you start moving sort of self, it is a pretty heavily republican district intends to be fairly conservative. one thing that will be interesting in this race and it started to pop up on news stories, we touched on it, is that will kelly be able to get the support in this area that needs to win. because a lot of people think you have to have a lot of support in the erie county and the erie area to be able to do this. he already put a lot of resources in. . a lot of people from this area who are pretty heavily involved in this campaign. seems that they are pretty, they need a lot of county or erie support. mike kelly has attacked his
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opponent on being locked up with nancy pelosi and the democratic agenda. the stimulus package and things like that. that is something he has kind of latched on. in some voters minds, it does not work as well as some big of thought it would. that has been one of the key issues. i think health care is going to be important, obviously. especially with some of the changes. and jobs. there are a lot of people out of work, but concerned about the way the economy is going to go. able breakdown similar to two years ago but what kind of a different twist because the democrats are in power in washington now and they are being attacked for their policies and programs by the republicans now. so, dahlkemper is probably in the middle. she will hit on her record in washington, that she's gotten things done. she has been in touch with the constituents, something she accused bill english of not
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doing. she makes a point of getting back here and having a constituent of as ours where she is out there to talk to people about their concerns. she does return to. and her district allots and tries to keep the personal touch with people. it she has been busy and washington. she is an anti-abortion democrat and she was involved in some of the language to help get the stimulus through cannot using federal money for abortion and she has taken criticism, but she has shown she is willing to, like i said, be involved and try to pass legislation and work with the rest of congress. i think what mr. kelly is going to do is, at that at an opposite way saying she has not been the effective representative she said she was going to be and tried to outline his plans on being that person, being more of a fiscal conservative and looking out for you, the taxpayers. it will be interesting to see the dynamics, especially when
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there are debates and when they get together. i believe ms. dahlkemper has 1.5 million in the bank. the democrats don't want to lose this seat. a similar to bill english two years ago when a lot of money is pumped into the race because republicans saw this as a very valuable seat. i think the tables have turned and the democrats see that. so, i would guess at the end of the day you are going to see a lot of money spent on this campaign. one of the issues is going to be how much money does kelly need to win and will he be able to raise that money and support especially in this area. what has made this competitive? the climate in washington, which i said, has kind of flip flopped to the democrats been under attack and ms. dahlkemper, some trying to tie her to obama and pelosi. this district being fairly conservative, as i said, a specially when you start moving
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toward the southern part of the district, i think there are some people who would like to see a republican candidate win that seat back and i think that would be something wrong -- you tend to get a lot of conservative people in the republican party who may have a problem with the stimulus, who may have a problem with the health care changes that are being talked about, and by extension, that might help mike kelly. you have to see what had been at the polls because she had a lot of money, she is the incumbent, but i think some of the anti- democrat sentiment is what is making this raise at least right now closed. it will be interesting to see, too, once there are debates and people see them on the issues one on one, if any of that public opinion changes. it is just going to be interesting to see how it all plays out. >> c-span's local content vehicles are travelling the country, visiting communities and congressional districts, as we look at some of the most closely contested house races leading up to this november's
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midterm elections. for more information, go to c- span.org/lcv. >> "washington journal" continues. host: on your screen is our second guest on the morning this friday, september 17, david limbaugh returns. his latest book is called "crimes against liberty: an indictment of president barack obama." as with the start -- start our discussion, for an author, had a new spirit of the lettuce nonfiction best-seller list. "the new york times" as the book and a number one spot, the second week on the list. "wall street journal" nonfiction, number two. and the combined list of fiction and nonfiction books at "usa today" #28, moving up and not -- #30. why is is selling so well? guest: i think it is resonating. people in america are very scared about what is going on about the bankrupting spending
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the federal government is doing and the destruction of our liberties and the assaults of individual liberties and assaults on the states, the war against the state, how president obama has undermined our national security, reversed our position in the war on terror. he just really does not stand for the same things that grass roots -- grass-roots america stand for, which is why they have risen up spontaneously throughout the country and protested in a peaceful fashion. this is not just about the economy. it is not just about the fact that there is a lot of unemployment. about what he is doing, threatening to do. nationalizing health care, cap and trade, immigration reform. all of these are radical measures. unlike what we have seen in the history of our country. not just the pendulum swing -- and republicans for a while and then you go back and have democrats.
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we have seen unbridled, unchecked liberalism for the first time in a long time. they've got both branches of congress -- i mean, both political branches. both chambers of congress. the white house. and they are doing things that are fine people and that is my position. i did you see that out in the country. host: unbridled liberalism is not a crime, however. you are a lawyer and your title is crimes and subtitle indictment -- -- caught me. host: are you calling in fact for -- guest: crimes against liberty is more of a four cents. i am not suggesting he committed crimes in the criminal code or high crimes are misdemeanor for impeachable offenses, and i am not even call it for his impeachment. i do not want to go that route, nor did i suggested. another reason, i think it would become a productive, it would backfire, and we would lose the sight of the big issues. the substantive issues we need to focus on. turn around peaceably,
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electorally, in november this year and in 2012. but i do suggest and stand by the position that he has abused his power. that he has ignored the constitution. he has apodictic poorly, a tyrannical, act like a bullet. -- acted dictatorially, acted like a bully governing against their will. i have almost 100 pages of footnotes. i did not think there is a lot of opinion in there. and i think when people see the kids look to the effect of the evidence that i amassed, they are pretty alarmed. they remember what a lot of it but some of the things they do not remember but they cannot believe as much evidence as it is because i do not think our minds have the capacity to retain all of that and deal with it. host: one of the reviews i read of your book last night which was on a liberal blogging, not
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favorable, but i remember it concluded this way -- this book is a window into what people can expect if the republicans take control of the house. that there will be lots of investigations -- guest: there might be. that is not really where i want to go. i am saying it out right. it would obama has done could warrants investigations. and it is fine if they want to do that. i just want them to undo the disastrous agenda he has implemented like obamacare, and funded the, de-fund it, if they can roll back some of the outrageous spending he has incorporated. a lot of the things he has done is under the radar. for example, and the stimulus bill, he snuck in a reversal of welfare reform. bill clinton had to be dragged kicking and screaming to sign a welfare reform and he finally signed it on the third time and later took credit for it as if he offered it. it was largely considered a
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bipartisan triumph because we saw poverty being reduced -- reduced, minority especially, illegitimacy been reduced. he put the reversal of welfare reform in the stimulus bill. he reverses its, and people don't know about it. why would you do that when blacks are being improved demonstrably, empirically, the evidence and data is there. nobody can dispute it. but i think he's got this desire, this socialistic instinct to create and perpetuate dependency class. and he does not feel comfortable with people being self reliance. host: you are from missouri -- what is the economy light there these days? guest: ups and downs. some businesses are doing well and others are not. i doubt that we are as hard hit as other areas. but as and as i say that i would hate mail from my fellow can gerardo -- cape girardeauand.
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host: what is the most effective way to stimulate jobs? guest: this is not rocket science is. conservatives are not extremists. tea party is not extremists. they want to restore the american ideal. they want to restore sound tax policy -- reduce taxes. by the way, bush's tax cuts, right composite tax cuts were not tax cuts for the wealthy -- they were across-the-board tax cut, in fact, skewed in favor of lower and middle income tax groups. the higher income earners pay a greater percentage of taxes. we know that almost half people did not pay income taxes. so the idea that the wealthy are getting a benefit when they pay like 60% of all of the revenues and the top 10% pay in a 90%. but what we want to do is reduce taxes across the board, and that will stimulate growth and i would go even further than the
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bush tax cut. we did not go far enough. and i think it would generate growth, expand the pie and radically reduce spending. obama had a band-aid ruse freeze of spending about 30% of the whole budget. it was a joke. -- 13 percent of the whole budget. he had no intention of really cutting spending. i really need a radical entitlement reform. when we tried that. when bush tried it, democrats demagogue the issue even though al gore and bill clinton said it was a crisis and we need to put it in the lock box. we always rather from the social security fund. it has never been set aside. we need to have radical entitlement reform. a reduction in taxes across the board and a reduction in spending. it will not work. you cannot just reduce taxes and not reduce spending at this point. host: let us get to your calls. mississippi. delores. on the democrats' line.
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go ahead. guest: good morning. -- caller: good morning. i am upset and of all the at adult people who sit and tell lies. i heard a story that lawyers are lawyers. i am sitting here listening and i am very upset. we want to blame obama for everything that has gone wrong in this country, and i am sorry, but he is not the reason this economy is in the tank. -- when is he going to take accountability? part of his narcissism. he said if he passed the stimulus bill unemployment would not exceed 8% and it went to 10 and now hovering between 9 and 10 ever since and is economic i said it might be 10 years before we get out of this. it did not take ronald reagan 10 years to get us out of a recession. it took a couple of years at the most. had they not stalled in congress
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with him to pass that bill and what happened earlier. i am not lying about obama. i welcome you to check the book and point out and lie. host: why don't you respond and go to another caller? are you there? caller: i am here in and i do not agree with mr. david limbaugh and i live in this country and i see what is going on. and the republicans -- you make america look horrible. guest: are all in the president constantly bad mouse president bush, he complains about being treated like a dog yet he treated president was like a dog for three years and did it in the very speech where he complained that he was being treated like a dog. i am not treating anyone like a dog. i am pointing out what president obama has said and how it is as a variants -- how he ruled as the people of purpose and spending as into bankruptcy and how are very children will not be able to enjoy the same types
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of liberties and prosperity that we have enjoyed and not the same secure nation because of his policies and a half to be reversed. host: "the washington post" frontpage, republicans rethink 12 playbook. tea party causing them to reassess what it takes to win. right next to that, the collapse of the political center. what do you think about the role of the center and do you see it as collapsing? guest: it does not bother me if it does. i do not know what it really means, the center. a lot of country club republicans say the only way we can build a big tent is to move to the center and get independent voters. right now independents are running our way because of the extremism of president obama. ronald reagan did not need to dilute his agenda.
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what conservatives need to do is adhered to their principles which are mainstream. it is high time that we quit as seeding to this notion that mainstream conservatism is extreme. all it is doing is promoting american ideals -- less government and greater national security. there is no rocket science to it. it is just fundamental principles. if conservatives will articulate those principles, people will rally around them and they will demonstrate inspired leadership. you don't inspire anyone being a moderate. what the moderate stand for? are they fiscally set -- conservative but pro-abortion? that is the only thing i configure route. maybe a few combinations. but almost everyone is not apathetic, has an opinion. and we are in a war. the liberals are going 100% on every issue. we cannot afford to dilute our
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cells or go to 50% on one issue but then allocate 100% to another. we have to fight back if we intend to win and change the direction of the country. host: here is one example of a moderate and i will read this and get a response. david ignatius's, in a "the post" and it is about lee hamilton going back to indian at age 79 after being here in washington, and it -- going back to indiana at the age of 79. i ask hamilton if he thinks american with its political problems it is a country in decline -- guest: this is a misunderstanding. liberals attack viciously george bush for his entire term of office. lied about him. the caller talked about lying about obama -- the difference is they lie about bush. finally it stutter resonating.
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-- it started resonating. i don't think our main goal and our statecraft should be getting along and the senators having hot toddies with each other and singing kumbaya of. we have to recognize democrats stand for certain world view in general terms, republicans stand for another, at least they ought to, and we are in a world view war and we have to fight. the idea that we need to dilute our agenda is just a ruse, when obama masqueraded as a bipartisan or post-partisan person, he quickly showed that he is the most divisive present we have ever had or at least in a long time. he brings republicans in only for photo ops. ask john boehner, ask mitch mcconnell. he excluded them from the process and at the end of the day he brings them in and he calls them out and he says, if they bring a knife to the fight, we will bring a gun, i will keep my boot on the approach of bp, this is a guy that calls bankers fat cat bankers. this is not a person who wants
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to get a long. -- along. we must fight back in like measure or week rolled over. host: we are talking to david limbaugh, author of a new book on the best-seller nonfiction list -- and in his book rights a dedication to his brother rush and his wife. caller: i would like to say that conservative patriotic people across this country, and that includes most of tea party activists, want to thank both you and your brother rush because you are definitely generals in this war, like you call it, on ideology of what is the best for this country. i want to tell you, particularly what you said about mr. obama, the first, according to everybody talking about black, he should be educating people on the benefits of a conservative
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fiscal responsibility because your brother noted that we are spending $800 billion a year throwing away on interest alone. if you look at the social issues. blacks are being targeted by planned parenthood, genocidal killings of more black babies as a percentage of the population -- it should be an outrage to him. the school dropout rates for blacks. all of the stuff that goes with liberal ideology harming black and not keeping intact families should be a crime. and i thank you both for bringing out these differences and the offending conservative issues, because they are the issues that will help all people. not just white people. but black, hispanic, and everyone in this country. guest: thank you. i believe in racial color blindness and i do think it is lamentable that president obama has played the race card in some
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areas, whether the building of the mosque or the arizona immigration law where he declared war against that sovereign state. but i do think it is noteworthy that president obama, when he tries to pass health care and could not get it done and keep its repudiated in the massachusetts senate elections were scott brown was elected -- virtually a personal referendum against obama's agenda, he does not say in the state of the union that i hear you, i will modify my position -- does anyone ask democrats to modify their position? the whole united states did. he said i want the american people to take another look at my plan. the hutzpah is hard to fathom. and when he spent $860 billion on the stimulus bill, saying a lot will be for infrastructure and it does not stimulate anything. there has been a 6.3 million jobs cap -- the heritage foundation points out that while
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obama claims to have saved or created 3.3 million jobs, which is an upsurge in metric, created or saved -- let us assume it is not absurd, 3.3 million jobs as a decorated and actually lost a net of 3 million so there is 6.3 million jobs gap. after he spent the $868 billion on stimulus in did not really spend more than 7% on into structure and it did not stimulate anything, he comes back and blames bush -- saying he underestimated the crisis. typical of a narcissist. cannot take ownership for any of his actions. and has the audacity to ask for $50 billion more with the idea that $50 billion will stimulate the economy when 19 times or 18 times did not. betty is not going to spend on infrastructure -- saying he is going to spend it now on infrastructure. the policies clearly don't work. even if these pump priming policies were, even if there is
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a multiplier effect when the money -- government stole from the private sector and put it in the government sector, even if it multiplied and brought jobs, which did not even an fdr's times which exacerbated the depression, even if we did work we could not justify bankrupting our children over it. they've got to stop this irresponsible reckless spending. host: the next question is from roxbury, conn. independent line. caller: everyone who comes into the government takes an oath to the constitution and then it has been ignored. we have been living in a global corporatocray for years and people have to get beyond the parties. our country is being destroyed by these parties. and both of them are doing the same kind of disruptive thing. the federal government under
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obama has been expanded beyond anything that we have ever known before. and all i see that he is doing is going on one vacation after the other -- guest: i thought that is what you mean by partying. caller: we are a republic, a moderate government under their rule a lot and not under personality. by the way, health care should not be run by the federal government. if people knew what our constitution was and what it stood for, we would never allow the federal government to get so deeply into our lives. by the way, no person, except a natural born citizen, should be president of the united states and that is not being acrimonious. it is just that there are many people that know that mr. obama
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had a passport that was from indonesian of and that he has a kenyan father and that is a point that under their rule of law should not be happening in and yet to corporate america and the global is the agenda has allowed him to be seated. guest: ok, let me address -- i do not get into conspiracy theories but let me address a few ways i think obama has exceeded his authority under the constitution and ignored it. ron emanuel said that he was going to issue executive orders across a wide front of issues when he could not get the legislature, not withstanding his supermajority in both houses of congress, to pass what he wanted like cap and trade. he had epa declared that carbon dioxide is a toxin police and now they can regulate it and establish onerous draconian
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mileage standards. he pledges $140 million to the im -- $140 billion to the imf to third-world countries, redistribution. he has no executive authority to do it. congress called him on it and said i have authority under foreign policy, i am commander in chief. this is not foreign policy. that is orwellian. glorifying foreign aid. he just issues an executive order. he tells john kyl list digest, president obama, the stimulus money you spent is not stimulating anything so could you consider a freeze? four cabinet officials cents kyl threatening letters saying if you don't want your stimulus money, we will withhold arizona's portion. does the american public realize how great this is, this government is acting like it is their money and they can withhold stimulus money from arizona just because it senator
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stood up for the entire united states, not just for arizona? we've got president obama appointing elena kagan as supreme court justice and she has been on record saying that to think if we have an over abundance of a certain kind of speech -- just what kind that would be, like conservative talk radio -- we can unskew it, which means the government can control speeds for the common good. it is not a matter of free speech, but it matters what the content. if it is good, we will allow -- i am not exaggerating a little bit that they were not first free-speech, but this is an example. we have the regulatory czar wrote about, did infiltration whereby he says that people in the government ought to masquerade as private citizens and make posts on website pretended to advocate for the government, for the administration. think about the deceit involved in that. think about having a blog spot
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-- and the justice department, supposed to be administering equal justice in the long, and they are going around monitoring web sites and entering post that a favorable to the administration. the administration dismisses the case against the new black panther party when it was already won by default judgment against it in members for a clear-cut case of voter intimidation, they had it on video, and after the cases won, they dismiss it an insiders and the justice department alleged it was dismissed because there is an unwritten policy in the justice department that says whites cannot be victims of voter intimidation by blacks, or whatever, civil rights cases. so it is a race-conscious rather than a race-neutral policy and now it is being investigated by the i. g obama fired his inspector general after he promised in the campaign to enhance the power of the inspectors general which, by the way, are watchdogs.
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he uncovered corruption on the part of some of obama's friends in the administration, the stimulus money, and it was so clear that the participants had to pay back half of the $800 million on the state hope charity project, what ever it was, and then instead of rewarding him and congratulating him, he fired him without notice, giving a one-day to resign or get fired. he fired him. the law requires 30 days' notice and specific reason -- he did not give anything but general reasons and afterwards slandered him as being incompetent and confused. and these very same people invited him to give a speech to 2000 staffers, after this said he was an incompetent. what is going on here today is so horrifying, it is not the america i grew up in. host: the last part of a caller apostate, question the president citizenship. do you? guest: no.
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i think it's bizarre he spent all of this money defending the case and we don't know much about his background. i actually don't know. i don't have any problem with these people calling -- investigating it, i just don't choose to go there because my influence is better used toward these substantive issues. i don't think of going to go anywhere. it is great if they could get it to go somewhere, if the ending true, i don't know. i have read both sides and it just confuses me. i can't figure out what the ultimate facts are. but if idiot -- if he is not a citizen -- but i choose to allocate my time to try to accept a substantive issues because i think they are urgent and i do not think they will get anywhere. that is just my opinion. host: st. louis park, minnesota, pat, republican line. caller: i have been listening to mr. david for the last couple of minutes. i want to start with something,
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connie. . for you to sit there and call yourself a lawyer -- how does she -- what, she just got pregnant? host: caller, the question was asked by me. guest: i never said, but she was a white person who wasn't very fond of america and didn't
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want obama to identify with america, which might explain some of his discomfort with identifying with america, why he goes around apologizing all the time for america being arrogant and dismissive, why he joined the church whose pastor says, america from his very pulpit, who says america brought on the 9/11 attack. maybe that's why he married someone who says america is downright and she's never been happy about it or proud of it until he was elected. i'm sorry, i'm going to call it like i see it, and i find that distasteful that the president of the united states does not have a warm feeling about america, that he can sit silent while daniel ortega enters into a 50-mansion harang against the united states of america, and all obama can do at the end of it was thank him for not including him for things that happened, not blaming him for things that happened when he was 3 years old. i got a chapter, i think it's chapter 13, the first page, it might be 12, where obama actually says, like it or not, we are still the world's
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superpower. what do you mean like it or not? we've been the greatest force for benevolence and good in the history of the world and for democracy. we should not be apologizing for having -- for being a world superpower. i think europe would appreciate the fact that we've helped keep the peace and we've helped promote democracy around the world. i wish we had a president who shared our experience, at least in terms of being proud of his country, because i don't see any evidence it. host: michigan, brian, democrats line, for david limbaugh. caller: good morning, susan. good morning, david. guest: hey. caller: say hi to your brother for me. guest: i'll do it. caller: identify listened to you run off at the mouth. you know how i can tell you're lying? guest: how's that? caller: because you're a lawyer and your lips are moving. guest: ok. caller: mr. obama -- guest: pardon? caller: has been doing the best he can for this country. your side of the aisle started push-pull the day after the
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election, you've been telling lies on him before the election , saying that he was illiterate -- guest: everybody said -- caller: i have heard it from people -- guest: ill lit rail? caller: and they were agents of your republican party, that district there. guest: well, i punish you could point out a lie that i've told. everybody's going after what other person have said -- caller: your generalizations are shot -- guest: i dent give any generalizations. ok, you're the one generalizing, sir, with i'm due respect. i've got 100 pages of footnotes documenting with specificity the allegations that i make in the book. you've yet to make one. host: chapter 14, we trying israel, crimes against america's allies. the administration has just restarted the peace talks with the israelis and palestinians. what do you see as a betrayal? guest: well, i think he's
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discriminated against israel. i think he's the first person that i know of that had his vice president condemn, publicly condemn, israel, our allies, for building on its own sovereign territory. they call it euphemistic the "settlement." george mitchell has supposedly endorsed the arab peace plan of 2002, which glir lynn glick talks about, including the right of return for the palestinians. if that problems, glick argues it will be the end of the israeli state, because they will no longer be in the majority. i think obama has -- he has not treated israel fairly. he he united states with the israeli right to self-defense, and i just -- i think it's shameful the way we've disrespected israel. host: for david limbaugh, next, sterling heights, michigan. lavar, republican line.
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good morning. lavar, are you there? caller: david? guest: yes, sir? caller: david, you're doing the best job ever. ever. i come 40 years from yugoslavia, and, you know, the country i left, i was so happy to come to the best country on earth, america, and i'm calling myself american. now, some people that call on the c-span, which is democrats, and they claim they're republican and they're talking garbage, like i said, you doing the great job, mr. president obama only kept one promise. listen to me what i'm going to tell you guys. one promise, only one promise he kept is distributing the wealth. and democrats going to wake up when it's too late. either they're brain washed or i don't know how i can talk. i'm so very, very upset because
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of democrats that are going to destroy this country. and healthcare -- one more thing. healthcare, mr. david, mr. care, they're going to be our grand kids. they're going to be destroyed for a long, long time. guest: i totally agreed that nationalized healthcare, this is what this is leading to, is a zeaster. there will be rationing. the government will be making decisions about our healthcare. this mandatory coverage is so outrageously unconstitutional. there's one other promise that obama kept, and that was to fundamentally change america. i've been going around making the point that i don't think anybody would fund mentally change something they love. that's what worries me. why did he want to fundamentally change the greatest country in the history of the world with the greatest founding ideals? host: sarah palin. tonight we will be covering her speaking at the iowa republican party annual ronald reagan fundraising dinner. the former chairman of
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virginia's democratic party writes about her this morning in "the washington post," says sarah palin saved the g.o.p. here how he concludes -- palin started as tonto, but became the lone ranger. she runs mains strong and stood by her party. she's become a bridge between the old republican guard and the growing right-wing dissatisfaction, not just about democrats, but also with republican office holders. palin's ability to advocate for using the g.o.p., not a third party to channel this angst has allowed republican voter anger to boil, yet not boil over. should republicans run up the score in november, sarah palin will deserve a lot of credit she will never get. guest: i don't know whether she'll get it, but i think that's a very accurate assessment. i think palin has been great. she's been a dynamo. she has advocated for conservative principles unapologetically. when they tried to beat her down, she bounces right back, and she's right back in her faces, and she set an example. and really, do you realize what it's like to have the entire media machine and conservative
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elite demeaning you all the time and to stay as strong as she has? i'm froud of her. she's got a lot of fire, and she stands for the things that i believe and i think mainstream america believes, and there's something to that about her influence in not allowing this to splinter into a third party, and that is critical. because if we split into a third party, we'll dilute our message, dilute our power, and play right into president obama and his democratic enablers and congress' hands. host: atlanta, you're next. charles, democrat line for david limbaugh. good morning. charles, you there? caller: yeah. host: do you have a question or comment for mr. limbaugh? caller: is he a kin to rush limbaugh? guest: yes, brother. caller: i figured. that explains your hatefulness. that explains your looseness. that explains your outright hatred. i mean, you show it all over. you remind me of the k.k.k. back in the 1950's and 1960's.
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guest: there we go again. it's always the race card. i can't criticize president obama without being accused of race, and it wouldn't matter to me what his ethnicity, race, color of skin, anything. i'm concerned with his ideology, his ideology is destroying the country, and i do say that with complete sincerity. i think this is a sea change what's going on, 9 change in the country. it's not just a pendulum swing back and forth, because i mentioned before, these are radical changes that america is undergoing, and obama said he was going to do it. he is doing it. people shouldn't underestimate, by the way, susan, obama, because he doesn't seem to be good with the details. just plug that damn hole, he's not really good with the minutia. and he's not good off the teleprompter a lot of times. but they should not underestimate his resolve. and he has succeeded in injecting and implementing obamacare and getting that passed.
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he's almost got cap and trade passed. he's going to go forward with the immigration thing. he passed a stimulation -- stimulus bill which is disastrous, and he's got one-plus trillion dollar deficit as far as the eye can see. there's a point that ought to be made about that. president bush got the deficit cut in half, and he promised to do it in six years, and did he it in four years. his deficits were manageable, even if they were bad, they were manageable for the last year we had the reception and tarp. so it got to be $1.3 trillion. but after the tarp payback factored in, the net deficit was probably $800 billion. but obama then, instead of being the prudent, fiscal arbiter or the fiscal guardian could have sarksde i'm going to look at that $1.3 trillion or $800 billion, and i'll never do it again. but instead, he uses it as a license to establish a new baseline and says if i spend $1 under, i'm being a fiscal hawk. he's got $1 trillion plus
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deficit as far as the eye can see. the other day, he said i am committed to fiscal responsibility. and people are going, as i said before, we're not sure what planet he's inhabiting now, because that makes no sense whatsoever. host: next caller is an independent. joseph, las vegas, you're on with david limbaugh. good morning. caller: yes. i need to -- for harry reid to pull out the green patch out of the defense budget. it has no business in there. we go back 90 years in colorado. we were all born there. my grand father, mother, dad, mom, all of us. and right now, for senator in his place, and i'm also looking at his son's worry.
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he has no business in there either. host: joseph, thank you. what do you think, mr. limbaugh, about the dream act? guest: i'm not even sure -- i've been in a bubble. host: the dream act is a pathway to citizenship for americans of illegal aliens born in this country, served in the military, and as senator reid has suggested, there's an amendment for this defense authorization bill. guest: well, i don't know. i did not study it enough. incorporate of it sounds good. i'm just worried about the entire undermining of the rule of law in this administration. in fact, the democratic party's approach to immigration, we have a process for immigration, for legalizing, for nationalizing citizens as being undermined. we've got citizens in arizona who are trying to protect their border. jan brewer and others said president obama promised he would send troops.
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he didn't. he told senator kyl that the reason he wasn't going to help protect the border was if he did it, he will disincentivize the republican congress from supporting his amnesty bill. he called it comprehensive immigration reform. and then he goes down there and accuses arizona, when it's trying to defend its borders and protect its sovereignty and protect the rule of law, he accuses them of race baiting. he accuses them of pro filing. this law was written, this arizona law was written by an immigration law professor, an expert in the area, to craft it specifically to pass muster. it specifically forbids racial profiling. there's no way you can stop a legal citizen under the law. it doesn't apply to illegals, and you have to check on the people you stop, you have to have a reasonable suspicion they're doing something wrong before you can stop them, and then you check with the federal authorities to see if they're
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legal or not. when obama said that this would be a license for the state to go in and stop people who are just going out to have an ice cream cone was outrageously false and deceitful. and it's the kind of tactics that this administration is using for who knows what reason. why would they want to undermine arizona's border unless it's en route to amnesty because it will change the voting demographic in favor of democrats. i sound cynical, but yells would you support -- yells would you oppose a state that's just trying to protect itself and declare war on it and file a lawsuit? jan brewer says here i am fighting the drug cartel coming across the border, and now i've got to fight my own government which won't let me fight the drug cartels. it's astonishing. host: a little bit over time, but let me get in this last caller from houston. guest: but good stuff, nevertheless. host: pat. you're last with david
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limbaugh. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. please do not interrupt me -- host: pat, i'm sorry, i'm going interrupt from the outset, we already over on time, so a quick question from you. caller: ok. you, your brother, the tea party, and the republican party are no more than the k.k.k. unhooded. you cannot call president obama dumb, stupid, and ignorant -- guest: i didn't. caller: so you go after him on these other ironic charges. president obama is the best thing that's ever happened to america. he is doing the best he can with what he was thrown at. he is for everyone. guest: boy, that's just -- caller: excuse me. you and your brother and the tea party and the republicans, i'm going say it again, are no more than the k.k.k..
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host: that's all. guest: they keep throwing the race card, and i've not said one thing about race. they keep going after the tea parties as he will streamists. the liberals are the ones who paint us as extremists. tea party, do you realize that two times more people in america identify themself as conservative than liberal? and tea party represents mainstream america. they're not ex-treesm you go watch their protest. i went to a 14,000-person rally in st. louis, completely peaceable. the only disruption you're going to have in a conservative rally is when you bust in union thugs to foment a riot or when you pretend, you fabricate charges of race allegations during a conservative protest. these things don't happen at conservative protests. we're law-abiding, rule of law respecting, constitution-respecting people who just want to exercise our right under the first amendment and our right to vote these misfits out of office in november 2010 and november 2012
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respectively. nothing to do with race, i repeat, nor did i say anything at all that can be remotely con zrued that way. it's a shame people have to issue those kind of counterattacks which are not founded in fact. host: a couple of minutes over, so thank you very much for being on c-span's "washington journal" this morning. the book is "crimes against liberty: an indictment of president bush barack obama." thank you for taking our viewers' questions. we mentioned at the outset that today is september 17, constitution day. c-span in the classroom has introduced a new tool for teachers to teach the constitution, and on the phone to explain it to us is joseph parr, a social studies teacher at springville middle school in sprinsville, new york. of one of a team of three teachers here at c-span this summer as education fellows to help develop constitution clips. joe, thanks for being with us. caller: good morning. host: what are constitution clips? what's the idea behind it and
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how can teacher use them? caller: the fellows work on it this summer, and i worked on it with ben and aaron this summer, and our goal was to create something using c-span's video library that any civics teach key use. and what we did is take the text of the constitution and then we linked short video clips that illustrated different constitutional ideas or principles in our government. so we have over 80 clips currently linked to the constitution clips. and just as an example, in article one of the constitution, section three, it says the vice president of the united states shall be president of the senate, but shall have no vote unless they be equally divided. so if you were to click on that, you would see a short video of former vice president dick cheney breaking a tie in the senate. now, that's a very simple example, but there are many other videos available that are much more detailed. this is really designed to be used at any level, anywhere from fifth or sixth grade, all the way up to government.
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caller: this is a free membership site, so you have to be a member, but it's free. host: do you envision constitution clips as a static thing, or do you anticipate that it will grow over time? caller: the goal is to definitely have it evolve, and we're encouraging teachers and even students to add additional clips to it. each we'll we'll have a menu. if you click on something, you might have a choice of several different clips. c-span has an amazing video library, so there are a lot of examples out there that could be added. host: how do you envision a teacher using it in the classroom? caller: i was using it today with my students, my eighth grade middle school students, and it can be used in a number of different ways. one way is for a teacher to show it on a smart board or projector, and they can click on videos to illustrate different constitutional ideas.
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but it's also possible to have students watch the clips and then have them find the concepts involved in the actual constitution. next week i plan on having a scavenger hunt in my classroom. i'm going to divide my class into teams, show them a clip, and have them work in groups to find the section in the constitution the clip illustrates. now, once students are comfortable, they can assign their own clips. so a teacher can assign them to search their own clips that illustrate a certain concept. this is really a great way to find out what our students really know and understand. host: joe karb is from springville, new york, eighth grade teacher, one of three teachers here this summer to help put together a project that was their idea to use video to illustrate the constitution. for teachers, we hope you'll find it at c-spanclassroom.org and begin the process of tuge to teach and help us add to it
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by using more individual free throw congress, the white house, and the supreme court to illustrate how the constitution works. joe karb, thank you so much for explaining it to our viewers this morning. caller: thank you. host: "washington journal" continues, and we've been talking a lot of politics this morning. we're going to lower the temperature and change the direction for our final segment. our guest is the former acting administrator of the pipeline and hazardous materials safety administration. he serves in that job from 2005 to 2007. we asked him in this morning, because all of us looked at what happened in california, northern california, with the massive pipeline explosion, which somewhere in the neighborhood of 58 houses were destroyed, and somewhere in the vicinity of four to eight people, they're still not even confirmed, people who lost their lives. when you see an accident like that, you begin to wonder, how does this system work? how is it all regulated? our guest is going to explain that to us. thank you for being here this
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morning. guest: absolutely. my heart goes out to all those affected by the incident. it was a horrible tragedy and something we have to look at to keep from occurring again. host: i didn't know well we started working on this segment that there was a pipeline in hazardous materials safety administration. guest: it's a mouthful, but it's fairly new within the department of transportation, one that former secretary norman mineta from california created in 2004. host: what does it oversee and how does it react with states' regulatory? guest: sure. they oversee all energy transportation, all transportation of hazardous materials in the country. so whether it's pipeline, air, rail, trucks, or ship, they're responsible for coordinating all hazmat transportation, and they do that through federal regulations, as well as a state grant program. host: one of the numbers we looked at from the government was the number of incidents with pipelines over the last 10
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years. i want to put that on the screen. there have been, since 1990, 1,085. but if you look at the trend since 2000, let's look at this. 2000 to 2002, there were 138 incidents. by 2003 to 2005, that had grown to 134. and in the last three years, it 2006 to 2009, 163. so the number of incidents is on the rise every couple of years of this decade. why is that happening? guest: well, two factors. one of the reauthorizations was actually changed the definition of the significant spill. it lowered the quantity that had to qualify. so we have some spiking and reporting just due to a change in criteria, and then we've had significant hurricane damage in the last several years that has also contributed to the up spike. but, you know, the fact is more and more people are living near, working near, and we have more development around these pipelines, and the leading cause of pipeline damage isn't from the pipeline operators, it's from third parties.
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host: well, here's an estimate of how many miles of pipes there are underneath this country right now, bringing us our energy, 2.5 million miles, and they are operated by a network of 3,000 companies estimated, both large and small. you suggest that these companies are not off to the source of the incident. how are third parties affecting the pipeline system? >> well, that's exactly right. that's a great question, susan. 10 years ago, we had more incidents caused by internal damage and corrosion, and both the industry and the federal government has done a very good job with advances in technology of really knowing the health of their pipelines. but a lot of these pipelines, just like san bruno, was placed in the ground when that was a farmer's field back in the 1950's. as we've had urban expansion, there's nothing that prevents a developer from developing right up to that pipeline. and in those cases, you know, although the likelihood of an
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accident is rare, when it does happen, the consequences are significant, and most often these are caused by others damaging or striking the pipeline. host: one of the resources this agency has is a pipeline mapping s. i'm not sure if we can call it up on the screen, it's got a rather long address. maybe we can help you connect to it through c-span.org. but how can they be used as a tool? guest: well, the national pipeline mapping system is a tool, both for citizens, as well as state and local governments, to see where the pipelines are located. and a citizen can go on and put in their zip code and see what pipelines may be near them. we strongly believe that, you know, noge of where the pipelines are located and making sure that they're not damaged is one of the first lines of defense in prevention. so that's one of the reasons why the federal government, when i was there a couple of years ago, came out with 8121, which is a one -- 811, which is
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a one-call, nationwide number where you're supposed to call before you dig. host: with respect to the sam bruno incident, when you read about some of the stories coming out nationally -- and let me see if i can pull one up here -- to help us understand what went wrong, this is the san francisco newspaper site, sfgate.com parks sysk gas and electric asked state regulators three years ago for permission to spend $4.8 million to replace a portion of the same natural gas pipeline that ruptured cast week and set a san bruno neighborhood on fire. the 1.4-mile portion to be replaced ran beneath south san francisco a few miles north of the blast site. pg&e considered it a risk. last year, pg&e wanted to start eight miles south upgrading, and that work would have cost about $13 million. neither project has come to fruition. the south san francisco project was moved down the priority list and the money spent elsewhere, and the southern project is still pending approval from state regulators.
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so we have two things going on, reallocation of funds from the utility, and a long approval process from state regulators. guest: right. one of the things to keep in mind, unlike highways, most of this infrastructure is privately owned. so the private companies have to go to state regulators or, in some cases, the federal regulators other than them, ferc, for example, in order to get rate increases to generate the funds necessary to make these repairs. the underground infrastructure is very expensive. host: so how does that affect public safety? guest: well, one of the reasons that fmsa came out with the pipes act in 2004 was to try to identify ahead of time pipelines that need care and attention and to look at and try to both identify and manage potential issues before, you know, they get to the point where they could cause an accident. host: but the mapping system is here, the areas have been identified, but we still have
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accidents. guest: yeah, unfortunately, there's too much bureaucracy involved, and it's too long of a process. and what we have to do, and the administration right now is looking to reauthorize the pipeline program, we've got to look for ways to be faster, more nimble, in order to respond to potential threats once they're identified. host: when you have a complex of state and federal regulators and private, how can you speed up the process? guest: well, it's difficult. and, you know, by and large, most of the larger, what i'll call high-risk, high-pressure pipelines are under the federal program. most of those are interstate. san bruno was not, but the federal process, we're looking for ways to streamline in order to react more quickly. i mean, the pipeline industry has invested billions and billions of dollars in new infrastructure just in the last few years. host: i want to get to calls just in terms of pipeline technology. what is the state of the infrastructure, and how is the technology changed in recent years to make pipes more safer? guest: well, technology has
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changed a lot. you know, we have now, just like when did you to your doctor's office, x-rays have now become pet scans and m.r.i.'s and all sorts of new technology. same is true of the pipelines. we can literally use internal inspection tools to get a three-dimensional view of the pipeline from underground. that's all new and exciting. to some extent, the regulations actually have to catch up with the technology. host: has the construction material of pipelines changed? guest: it has absolutely. pipes today are far more resilient than pipes that were put in in the 1940's and 1950's. that's not to say that all pipelines are unsafe, but they have to be properly maintained. the best aspect of today's new pipelines is they're much more resilient to third-party damage or, you know, when they're hit, they're much less likely to fail. host: and if you look at the big complex infrastructure, what percentage is old technology versus new? guest: you know, that's a good question. i don't have an exact number, but probably 70% or so of the pipeline technology is, you
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know, -- predates the 1980's. host: thus increasing the risk? guest: if not properly maintained. host: let's gets to calls. alameda, california, is up first. this is jane on the democrats line. jane, you're on the air. good morning. caller: good morning. first, i would like to say, give me some information -- hi. can you hear me? host: we sure can, go ahead. caller: can you give me some information? you just said that your agency needed to be reauthorized. is it no locker an agency or what's going on there? and then i'd also like to say that oakland, california, yesterday pg&e hit a pipe, and it almost, you know, it was -- a lot of people had to leave their jobs for that.
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and the last thing i have to say, please do some fact checking on your guests before they squeeze out rhetoric that's untrue. please do some fact checking. guest: jane, thanks for calling in, and that's a very good question. as to the agency, it's a little bit of washington-speak, i suppose. the agency is still there, it's still functioning, it doesn't really go away. the way the congressional budgetary process works is every four years in fmsa's case, we have to provide a package of materials to the congress to show what changes the agency would like in its programs. and that's the process that's up for this year. right now is a great opportunity to modify, enhance, and tweak both the agency's authorities, the number of inspectors it has, and its enforcement authority. host: we're talking about
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pipeline safety, and the regulatory authority, both at the federal and state level that keeps us all safe while we get needed energy. that's our guest's area of expertise this morning. we welcome your questions or comments. next is south bend, indiana. this is donald. donald, you are on the air. go ahead, please. caller: yes, i just want to emphasize how important this agency is. this is what government does. and that's why i pay taxes. and i want somebody like that doing his job to make sure that where we live is safe. and, you know, i hear people talk about, i don't want the government in our lives and this and that. we need people like this, agencies like this to make sure that where we build our homes are safe, and that's all i have
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to say. thank you. host: actually, let me use that question to understand a little bit about the current debate over the role of government. this administration -- or this department was formed during the bush administration with norm mineta, a democrat who was the head of d.o.t. at the time. was there a discussion among industry about whether or not this regulatory, federal regulatory body was needed at the time? >> you know, there wasn't a lot of discussion. i think everyone recognizes that it was needed, and i must confess, it existed in prior forms. it was simply a smaller office housed in a defrpblt part of the transportation department. and secretary mineta, who i have the utmost respect for, is a wonderful gentleman, wonderful bipartisan person, wish we had more of them out there today. he recognized the need to sort of raise the level of the authority of office of pipeline safety. so it was a great idea, and at the time, you know, there wasn't much, if any, opposition
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in industry. host: in fact, the did it clarify anything for it or did it add extra layers of regulation for them? guest: it didn't really add extra layers. it was welcomed by certain public advocate groups that are generally formed after an incident like san bruno and recognized that during the 197 's and 1980's, the office of pipeline safety didn't have the authority, didn't have the manning, didn't have really the technical expertise that it needed. so the program has come a long way. host: and what did the pipes log give it? guest: well, more authority. it added inspectors. it required additional reporting. and really added more direct oversight over the natural gas industry. host: this viewer, joe, asks, any insight into what actually caused the california pipeline to explode? was it struck or damaged or did it just flow? guest: that's a great question. i get asked that every day.
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the simple answer is we just don't know. there are several things that could have been. people have talked about loss of structural sbepping hit to the pipeline. people have also opined that based on aerial imagery, the area may have been excavated prior to the explosion. but until the department of transportation and the national transportation safety boards completes their analysis, we're just not going to know for sure. host: in most of these cases, does an analysis actually prove conclusively what happened? guest: it generally does. it's what we call a root cause analysis. you're able to go back from a met lurge i can and engineering standpoint to really find what caused the pipe to yield. host: gainesville, florida. barbara, independent line. good morning. caller: good morning, susan. i just have a comment. i town you as disgusting as david limbaugh. host: well, thank you, barbara. appreciate the phone call. let's go back to pipeline, safety. juan, democrats line. go ahead. caller: hi. i apologize for the last
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speaker. host: oh, that's ok. that's part of the job. caller: you know, apparently what's going on is that there's companies that come in, do the job, and then it's supposed to be up to the government to keep track of all this thing. the gentleman just said that he was just nominated to this program that he just had in 1980-something, and to be corrected, i'm not sure. you just said that pipe has not been replaced since the farmers were down there. we're taxpayers. this is supposed to be taken care of. and every time some major disaster happens like this, especially with the gases, nobody in government wants to take responsibility. it's always private corporations trying to make it the government so they can influence senators not to do the job that they're supposed to do. and this is what worries the american people. there's too many people sitting up there trying to get up there
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for power as opposed to doing their job and sensationalizing everything and keeping people from seeing what's really going on. and it's just corporations, revolving doors coming in and out, and anybody's doing anything about this. that's what's happening with the financial problems. that's what's happening with the gas. that's what's happening with healthcare. all these corporations come in here, steal money from the government, and then say that the government is inefficient. host: thank you for your call. guest: well, what i would like to say is, you know, government has a role to play, and it must have a very active oversight. but the practical matter is, with 2.5 million miles of pipeline in the country, that's enough to stretch to the moon and back almost five times. you couldn't, with 100,000 inspectors alone, provide 100% solid oversight. it's got to be a cooperative program between the industry and the federal government. host: well, a view from one of
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our callers on twitter might have the same answer. she writes, hello, caller, this man's agency has been in california since 2004, san bruno wasn't made safe by him or his agency. big government can't make us safe. guest: and that's why, to the maximum extent, federal government tries to provide state grant money, or in this line, it's not under the jurisdiction, it's part of the commissioner, cpuc. so what we've tried to do in washington, at least when i was in government, was to also push money down to the states who, frankly, have a much better local viewpoint on where their risks are and how it should be managed with appropriate federal oversight. host: back to the number of gas pipelines. there are 175,000 miles of onshore and off-shore hazard outs liquid pipelines, 321,000 miles of onshore and gathering
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pipelines. and two million miles of natural gas distribution main and service pipelines. how do the challenges change when it is offshore? guest: well, when it's offshore, the lines are less easy to inspect externally, which, thank goodness, due to technology, where we have what we call internal tools that can be run through the pipeline, it really doesn't matter where they are. but in older times, when you had to use external direct assessment, a pipeline on the bottom of a water body is much more difficult and ininaccessible. host: jewels on our republican line, on pipeline safety. caller: a few years back i lived in fairfield, iowa, and they -- my nephew, they made the pipes and gas. he told me, he said that he was
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telling me how much they were on this pipe and everything, and it had to come out exactly right. he said the biggest problem they had was getting new employees. he said both the young kids they bring in, he said they didn't want to do nothing. and he said most of them ended up having to be let go because of drugs. now, i don't know if that's present anywhere else, but that was his story. he said they just couldn't get new people to work. he's been there for a long time. i was a union rep and all that. and, you know, these young guys, they come over to these houses to see them, and they got kicked out on account of they failed. and he said they just couldn't keep young people. he said it was so hard to get young people to work. host: well, let's peck up that comment and talk about the human factor in pipeline
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safety. guest: sure, absolutely. a lot of the expansion and development in pipelines, both what we call liquid, meaning gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, kerosene, and natural gas, a lot of that expansion occurred through the 1940's, 1950's, and into the 1960's. we've had sorted of a resurgence of new technology and new infrastructure being built, and so the workforce has dwindled over the years. i think the industry is finding it difficult to find skilled craftsmen and workers to not only manufacture the pipe, but to put it in the ground. and, you know, he is correct. d.o.t. has very stringent drug and alcohol pre-employment testing and continual random testing, for obvious reasons. host: here's a question from maverick on twitter. pg&e aren't releasing data on bad pipeline locations, is that because of the threat of terrorism? guest: well, that's an interesting comment. in fact, after 9/11, we did pull down the national pipeline mapping system for several years out of concern for that.
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but working with the department of homeland security, the new pipeline mapping system is not quite as detailed as it was, but it still shows the location of the lines f. one goes to the system, there's a place for log-in information for state and local governments and others who can still get that very high resolution view. host: what is the proper role of trance pearns a in areas that might be concerned about the pipeline? it would seem that the public were informed, it would increase pressure to move that sometimes slow-moving process along. guest: it certainly could. i know that when i was in government, and now, you know, even on the outside, i'm a big fan of trance pearns a. i think that's the way the government is supposed to work, and it's the way the industry should work. we have to have an honest talk and an honest conversation about our infrastructure. you know, that goes not only for pipelines, but it also goes
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for roads and bridges. it's very expensive to maintain this. and the one thing the caller should understand, susan, is that no matter what we do, ultimately on pipelines, that cost is going to be passed on to the consumer in rate hikes and other things. that's how you get the money to update your infrastructure. host: how much has pg&e and other companies reinvested in repair and modernization of their pipelines? is pipeline in disrepair like our power grid? guest: that's a good question, too, and i don't have exact numbers on pg&e. there have been some reports in the paper -- and susan,y probably seen them too -- five million here or five million there. the fact is, a good pipeline operator -- and i want to stress, i think most of them are good operators out there. they want to reinvest in their systems. and they know that it's good business practice to make sure that they don't have a spill. the cost of the spill not only in human life, but in property damage, loss of revenue, environmental damage, is just
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not acceptable. from a cost standpoint, it's very important, and i think the industry has to understand. host: here's a little more background from "usa today's" coverage of the san bruno incident. christina said the vice president of the american gas association said new rules in 2002 required companies to inspect natural gas pipelines once every seven years if they are in densely populated. that accounts for 7% to 10% of big natural gas transmission lines, said the executive director of the trust. companies were given 10 years to begin to implement the new standards. the rules change followed two deadly gas explosions, one in washington state in 1999 and another in new mexico in 2000. you have any more to add to that? guest: well, i do. his group sort of came out of the bell spgged ham incident in washington. it was very tragic. the industry was given by congress 10 years to complete a baseline assessment, and i
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think, you know, we can all sit and argue whether that was too long, but that's what congress provided for. and then a seven-year reassessment interval. san bruno had not completed its interval testing yet. so, you know, all those baseline testing its are supposed to be completed by late 2012. host: now that you are a private citizen, let me ask you, if there's one thing you can change about this system that would rather increase public safety, what would it be? guest: well, i've called for either a creation of blue ribbon panel or creation of a study allow certain land use zoning and development immediately adjacent to certain high-pressure pipelines. that is the one thing the federal government has not been able to do. traditionally, land use and zoning and planning has been seen as a local issue. but i would like to get the best and operate brightest together, both from the public space, as well as the private sector, and tom come one best practices that then can be used on a nationwide basis, adopted by local towns and cities,
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because we need to ask the question, should we allow a school to be immediately adjacent to a pipeline? should we restrict zoning? you know, pipelines, again, are inhearnt the safe, as long as we can keep others away from them. host: next call is from tennessee. jack on the democrats line. caller: thank you. i have three questions. i'll try to make it quick. number one, how come pg&e has to ask for a rate hike increase? if they know there's a problem with the pipeline, why don't they just take it out of their profits, then go back and get money from the state if they have to? it seems like they're putting profits over people. secondly, as you mentioned, the reason the reorganization happened during the bush administration, there were several fatal accidents. i think there was also one in texas and another in california. it involved pipelines then. and i think -- i was able to
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get something done, but i also noticed that, strangely enough, during the deregulation of the bush administration, you notice how the accidents from the pipeline increased over that time frame and putting a 10-year time frame by a republican congress to fix this is ridiculous. and the last question is, who do you work for now? i mean, are you working for a pipeline and industry group? i mean, are you just -- i recognize you got some good ideas and you're sincere, but are you just another example of the revolving door syndrome of going into the -- going into the government and then coming out and working for industry or so on? thank you very much. guest: thank you for your comments. i'll take the last one first. i'm not representing anybody here today. i do work for pipeline companies, pipeline companies, energy companies will hire me when they have issues with the federal government because they value the knowledge and expertise i gained while i was in federal government.
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but i'm here really because this is a tragic accident, and i want to make sure it doesn't happen again. i think there are some ideas that we can use, and there's an opportunity. now, as unfortunate as this may be to improve pipeline safety, that's not a republican idea. that's not a democratic idea. you know, it's something we have to do for everybody here in the country. and, you know, secondly, pg&e, as far as why not just repair the pipe? i'm probably going to have to defer that question to them, but i will say -- and susan, i want everybody to understand that, you know, these companies actually don't make very much money on the gas that's transported. the vast majority of income is really -- doesn't go to pg&e. it's a pass through to the individuals or to the companies upon which natural gas or liquids they're transporting. so i don't know what pg&e's bottom line books are, but
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generally you have to go ask for a rate increase in order to collect the money necessary for these very expensive, you know, new expansion projects or retro fits. host: news reports suggested that homeowners in the san bruno area had complained about being able to smell gas for some period of time before the explosion. this viewer asks, laura, can the guest explain why, when pg&e inspected after homeowner complaints before the explosion, they didn't shut it down? guest: right, well, i've heard that, and i don't know if that's been verified or not. you'd have to ask pg&e if the additive was in this transmission line. the gas companies place an additive for you to smell lines, and it's for that purpose, because natural gas is odorless and colorless. so that additive is generally not placed in a transmission line because it's corrosive. that additive is usually added at the end of the distribution
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network. so, you know, i think it's fair to question who that additive was even in the high pressure pipeline. but usually that's a low-pressure, small leak near a house that you'll smell. and secondly, it's probably unlikely that that line was experiencing leaking for some amount of time, because that line is somewhere near 1,000 p.s.i. on a 30-inch diameter line. just from a structural and integrity standpoint, once you start to have a breech in the line, it's not going to be a slow leak. it's going to rip apart pretty quickly. host: this is delano, springfield, missouri, democrats line. caller: i would like to put up on the news again there, i think it's -- host: that's right. caller: to find out the pipelines in our area. host: yes. what's the easiest way to find that map? the address that i have is really quite long. guest: well, it is. i think it's unfortunate.
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that's one of the things i'd like to see my former agency change is to put that right on the front page or to give it a new website where it's easy to access. host: go if you go to phmsa.dot.gov, can you link to the map? guest: you can then link to it. and in the top right of the agency's website, if you just type in nmps for national pipeline mapping system -- npms -- it will then give you a link to it. although i tried it on my way in this morning, and it's down. apparently it's been down for several days because it can't handle the volume of people now wanting to look at it. caller: that's what i thought. host: and caller -- caller: another question that i have. is this pipe that they're putting -- the new pipe that they're putting in now, is a lot of this coming in from china? guest: there are a variety of manufacturers. i'm want aware of chinese pipes
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per se. some of the pipe is manufactured here in the u.s. some of it does come from europe or from india. but it all has to be manufactured according to what we -- according to different industry specifications, and that is checked when it comes in. host: so caller, i know that there's a lot of letters involved in all this, but you wanted the main website of the agency, so let's give you that, and then you can click through and find the map. it's phmsa.dot.gov. from there, you can do a search to find the natural gas map for the united states. and we've heard it might have a little too much traffic. but certainly if you give it a break now and go back over time, i'm sure you'll be able to connect through. baltimore is up next. this is dan, republican line. good morning to you, dan. caller: yes, ma'am, thank you. i have some property in pennsylvania, and we've been contacted by a gas line
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transmission company. it's involved with the -- not explosion, but the amount of natural gas being found within the marcellus shell throughout the northern tier of pennsylvania. my complaint is, i did file a complaint or protest with the federal energy regulatory commission because we were contacted by the company and they asked if they could come in and survey. we agreed. no cost, no obligation, no commitment. they said -- they came, met with us, said, we will come back and negotiate a land appropriation agreement for the right of way to bury the pipeline across our property, which we felt was fair. and i received a registered
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letter from them a few days ago stating that they have filed for the right to invoke eminent domain. prior to and without any negotiations, discussions about price. and i just feel that that is not far beganning in good faith. guest: well, dan, what you're referring to is something that is outside of the control of my old agency, outside, really, even the control of federal government. many states, you know, texas where i'm from is another one, where if an energy company has registered as a utility company, many utility companies, by state law, have eminent domain authority. and, you know, what that means is, you know, they still have to pay you a fair price for your land, and i would encourage you to go see local council in your area and to start the negotiations. but what it probably means, at
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the end of the day, you can't keep them off your property. and, you know, that's something for your state government it take a look at it, whether that's right or not. host: this viewer is still concerned about the additive that puts that rotten egg smell into gas, and queets, i'm still worried about the gas that got through without that scent. the major arteries don't have the scent. guest: right. the major arteries generally don't have the additive. but all the pipelines have pressure gauges. they're monitored from remote stations. if there is a leak in the line, it's fairly readily noticeable by the control room. so the odor smell is really meant for the end consumer, so that if you have a leak in your house or something, a line coming up to your house, you'll be able to find it so you will not turn on a gas oven or provide an ignition source. host: next question is from
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danbury, connecticut. crystal, independence line. caller: hi, susan and guest. i don't know exactly how this happened. can you just explain it? then i'll give my answer toe. i don't know exactly how it happened, but i know something about, you know, what happens if workers are working. did anyone get hurt in this and what caused it? i don't want to say it if its going to sound foolish. guest: ok, sure. you know, there were, i believe, susan, four killed initially. host: that hasn't been -- they found additional remains, and they haven't verified, so it's at least four killed. guest: ok, at least four killed. there are three or four or five still missing. none of these were actually utility workers, but individuals that either lived or were working or driving through the area. and then i'll have to confess, i forgot the second part of your question. host: i think you covered it. crystal, what's your question you wanted to ask? caller: well, i know someone that is a heavy equipment operator and can't be called,
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will never pick up on the cell phone because it's very dangerous. there can be an explosion. now, could this have any relevancy to people working, you know, on these gaslines, so workers, picking occupy a cell phone? could that have any relevance? it's bothering me, because i know i'm never supposed to call, and when doesn't pick up, i'm so relieved because i know that's a factor. that's a very deadly thing. so i wonder, whether cell phones came into the picture, were there so many gas explosions at all, and does this have any relevancy? guest: the jury's still out on whether transmission commicks can cause a spark. in fact, you'll so, won't object your them phone while you're getting gas. some have discounted that as being an i guess noticing source. others say it's still too early to tell. you do bring up an important point, and that is that everybody needs to be very careful around when they're
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working adjacent to gas pipelines. as i mentioned earlier, the leading cause of damage, incidents, deaths, injuries to pipelines is by third-party damage. that's generally by development or encroachment upon the pipelines or construction activities taking place next to pipelines. that's something we really haven't gotten into. but frankly, the way you find a line and the way you excavate around the line remains unchanged since 1950, and that's another big piece where new technology would offer a lot of help, and that's something i hope my former agency looks at. host: manchester, new hampshire, you're the last caller. go ahead, please. caller: i'm glad to see you on more often now. host: thank you. caller: you and my wife are the two women i know that get better looking each year. host: well, that's so nice. we're almost out of time, so quick question. caller: i assume that the thousands pounds of pressure, this was a liquid line, and are most lines l

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